Hello everyone. I just want to ask for your opinion on the f


Hello everyone. I just want to ask for your opinion on the following situation:
There's a Facebook page that I follow. Mostly, the admin of that page shares stories of victims of abuse and harassment. Those who submit their stories have the option to stay anonymous. Anyway, yesterday, I've read another story of abuse on that page. it was really sad when I look at the comments section, on person said this: "Girls have to be taught to be on the defense from day 1." The person said (I don't know if guy or girl) teaching boys not to rape is like assuming that boys are inherently evil.
I replied to her comment. I said I disagree that when you teach people not to rape, you assume that they're evil. I said it's just teaching kids what they should not do. Everyone, regardless of age or gender, should be taught not to rape, abuse, or harass anyone.
i also told her that telling girls that they should know how to fight can actually have a bad effect on some victims. unintentionally. I don't know if it's just me (that i'm too sensitive) but I think those statements can be used by some to blame victims of abuse or harassment. Especially in my country, when a girl get's harassed or raped, some people say "why didn't you fight?" or "Next time someone harasses you, you should fight". I know that they might mean well, but for me those statements are insensitive.
First of all, not everyone can fight. I myself have been taught self-defense when I was younger but I really can't do it. I literally can't hurt a fly so hurting a human being is out of my league.
Second, there are situations where you want to fight deep inside your heart but you just can't move. You're literally frozen in fear. that's what happened to me in all of the abuse and harassment I experienced.
Third, there are times that when you defend yourself, you are actually putting yourself more at risk of danger. Like when the perpetrator has a gun or a knife (this happened to me last year), it's very dangerous to fight back.
I know that the commenter mean well when he/she said girls should know how to fight but somehow I just want to express my feelings that it hurts me as a victim when people impose that victims should fight. Some girls are lucky to be strong enough to resist but what about girls like me? What if we can't fight no matter how many times we are taught self-defense?
I shake and I cry when I tell my story of abuse/harassment to someone and that person says "You should be careful" or "next time defend yourself". though the intention is good, I still feel bad. I want to tell them that I want to fight but I just can't! I start to have doubts in myself and ask "maybe if I'm strong enough I won't be a victim" or "maybe if i learn how to fight no one will abuse me". It somehow leads to victim blaming from others and from myself as well.
Am i the only one who feels this way in those kinds of statements? Anyone here who feel the same? Do you think it's wrong to feel bad when you hear those statements?

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someonelikeme's picture
May 23

You are absolutely not alone in feeling this way. The systemic oppressions in society (especially towards women) runs deep and victim-shaming is a way of perpetuating this as "normal." This angers me. I feel like the conversation shouldn't even concern "teaching boys not to rape," but rather teaching all young children on the concept of consent. This is what we see missing from narratives between victims/perpetrators over and over. Then again, some people think they have inherent rights over others, so this concept would fall on deaf ears. Clearly, those posting comments are more open, yet extremely ignorant. Take your experience and channel your emotions into being an advocate. Our community needs people who can spread knowledge. Don't be beaten down into silence! We need your voice!

May 24

@someonelikeme True. I don't know why it's so hard for people to understand the concept of consent and respect. :( That when a girl wears something revealing or goes to a party, it doesn't mean that she wants to get harassed or raped. Sometimes I wonder, why do people assume or force consent? Is it really too hard for people to ask for consent properly? Consent is needed whether you are with a stranger or a lover.

May 25

@someonelikeme I totally agree with our communities need for knowledge and to be better informed regarding rape & abuse. Victims can be left feeling weak and helpless, especially when faced with accusation comments from the ignorant. We allow people to strip us of our power and voice in a time when we need it the most. I like the idea of channeling emotions and experience into being an advocate for positive change. I like the idea that I still have the power to choose whether to allow these emotions to fester and destroy me or use them as fuel for positive change. Every moment I am faced with ignorance now becomes an opportunity to practice advocacy .


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