Hello, everyone. Today I’m going to do something a little unusual, and it’s very important that you please read and understand the following warning;
THIS POST IS SENSITIVE
This is your warning that this post will be triggering to some people. Please, if you have experienced victimisation of any kind, DO NOT read this post.
If you need assistance, please get in touch so I can share with you a helpline or resources that can help you in your region.
Recently I came across a YouTube video from Dr Lindsey Doe, a clinical sexologist in the United States. Here it is:
I’m not going to convey my opinion on this particular video today, because I am not qualified to do so. Rather, I’m going to address the issue at large.
But first, I’d like anyone who’s a victim of any kind of abuse – whether it’s physical or emotional or anything else – to hear me now. You are not alone. There are always people who are willing to listen to you and do their best to help you. I know it’s difficult, believe me I do. But not everyone is alike and it’s important that you try to remember this.
Another thing – being abused is never you’re fault! I don’t care what anybody says, there is never anything you can do which justifies someone abusing you. Please, never let anyone convince you that it’s your fault because that’s just wrong.
Dr Doe addresses something in her video that has always triggered me, and now it’s more real than ever – the concept of secondary victimisation.
The concept is explained quite well in the video, so I’m just going to summarise; secondary victimisation occurs after the incident, usually from other people. When people don’t believe you or take you seriously, when people angle the conversation when you open up to them to be about their experience rather than yours, people trying to advocate for the perpetrator and being blamed for the event yourself are all types of secondary victimisation, and there are many more.
Secondary victimisation can often be more impactful to a person than the incident itself, not least because they are already feeling hurt and vulnerable.
And this is not unusual, in 2018 and 2019, lot’s of people began to speak out against high-profile individuals over incidents that occurred previously, largely because, for a while, they felt they would be shunned for speaking out due to the perpetrator’s high-profile life.
We as a society need to be more understanding of and open to victims speaking out about their experiences all over the world. Sometimes, victims speak out because they can no longer keep this bottle of hurt and anger inside them, but sadly nobody hears them.
Please, if you are ever approached by your friend who needs someone to open up to, all you need to do is listen – be there for them. A few minutes or hours of your life can save someone else years of heartbreak and anguish.
Thanks for reading, stay safe and I’ll see you soon.