Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kicking Them When They Are Down

Some people do become rape victims at a rate higher than chance. Some observers blame these victims for this because they are engaged in what must be risky behavior.

Besides blaming the victim when the perpetrator should be blamed this misses a key element in how some rapists and sexual abusers operate. Many of them depend on the vulnerability that comes after abuse and rape.

Some of these people will quickly become violent but others will make themselves seem like an oasis. The first image this brings to mind will likely be a man who offers a runaway a safe place and some free booze, but this isn't the only image that should come to mind.

Rapists and sexual abusers can be clergy and they can be therapists or counselors who misuse their position of trust to exploit someone who may have few or no defenses. Some of these exploiters know where the proper boundaries are and deliberately knock them down, but others have held onto dangerous beliefs such as "it isn't wrong unless there is a threat of physical violence" which allow them to rationalize actions which are harmful.

When we individually and as a society fail those who have been raped and abused we leave them vulnerable. We need to support comprehensive education on personal boundaries so those who have been victimized before will recognize when someone is crossing a boundary and so those who cross boundaries will not be able to plead ignorance.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:00 PM   0 comments links to this post


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