Trigger warning for violence and victimization.
In the book of awful things to say, ‘Stop being a victim.’ is a loaded one. If it is something you have ever said to someone and you are pretty sure you are not a sociopath, then you should stop and think about it for second.
I am not talking here about the victim-blaming vicinity of the prase. I am talking about asking someone who has been victimized to stop existing, specifically, in your self-constructed false parallel universe. When you are asking someone you know, or worse, someone you don’t even know, to ‘stop being a victim!’, think about what you are saying for a second.
I have been the victim, as a young woman, of countless acts of violence. I have been choked, drowned, punched, kidnapped, kicked, real-world stalked, upskirt filmed, crushed by a car and had my limbs mangled in a way to cause injury more than one time losing part of a limb. Always by different people, some known, some unknown and almost always intentionally. Yet there is something that is constant about all these events. Everyday that this UNEXPECTEDLY happened TO me, I had woken up thinking this was going to be a very normal and boring day, just like every other day.
What is interesting though, is that the people who have told me to ‘stop being a victim’ are the very people who can’t help themselves from victimizing me or other people.
There is a minority though, who are not sociopaths and do utter such a thing because they are victims of violence themselves and have been properly shamed into keeping it a secret by their victimizer(s) or their family who lack compassion or cannot deal emotionally with the complex and important work of supporting a victim through the healing process.
If you are a silent victim and find yourself thinking of uttering the words ‘Stop being a victim’ STOP IT! You are not helping yourself or anyone else.
Young men and women who have never had a place to talk to the world about their lived life are using blogging, tumblring and social media to educate others about the processes of abuse. This is seriously helpful information. It will help others navigate an abusive environment, it may help them deal with past abuse or prevent it in the future.
Sharing the stories of abuse has helped countless victims of violence come to terms with the abuse. Feel less alone in the world. It allows victims of repeat offenders to come togeter and stop the cycle of victimization. It educates young people who are new to the world of dating and relationships to see signs of danger. It helps friends of those victimized understand better the immense loss associated with waking up NOT a victim and going to bed having to deal with victimhood.
We should be thanking people who are victims of violence for having the courage and taking the time to share their experience with us.
If you are not compassionate, psychologically strong or emotionally mature enough to help and support a victim of abuse; just shut the fuck up.