Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

I am so angry now. ‘Survivor Privilege’ is the latest way to shame victims of abuse.

5 Comments

“Survivor Privilege’. FFS!!!!!

Yes my life of severe, prolonged, multiple abuse, over decades, dealing with severe PTSD, severe anxiety, severe emotional pain, and millions who endure this like me – is a real fucking privilege.

I am so angry right now. The lack of empathy in society perpetuated by morons like this man – make me want to scream.

This is what I read..

From this link https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=728266053885625&set=a.130983213613915.12907.104181729627397&type=1&theater

Do survivor’s of child abuse and rape get granted special privileges ? Are there any advantages to being a survivor what so ever ? you know other then the severe PTSD, the crippling agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, guilt, rage, pain, issues associated with self medication … oh yes those privileges….

There has been a Washington Post article floating around online, which talks about ‘survivor privilege’.

No, that’s not a typo. The author, George Will, asserts that victims of sexual assault receive special privileges. These so-called privileges are apparently so bountiful as to encourage a proliferation of false allegations, aimed at attaining this “coveted” victim status.

Wow.

Words almost fail me (and that’s saying something), but thankfully an Australian journalist, Clementine Ford, summed it up quite well when she said “Survivor privilege isn’t actually something that exists in any way shape or form. Instead, survivors are often subjected to rank victim blaming, a lax response from law enforcement and the judgment and hostility of communities who cannot understand that the vast majority of rapists are not the shadowy monsters we imagine them to be, but the brothers, fathers, partners, friends and colleagues whom we love.

I will add to that, of course, that even though Mr Will was specifically referring to female victims of male perpetrators, the same applies to male victims of male perpetrators, as well as both male and female victims of female perpetrators, young, old, and everyone in between.

It makes no difference whether the sexual predators he, and many other journalists seek to defend have been accused of assaulting adults or children, because research shows that approximately 80% of those who rape or sexually assault adults, also commit sexual offences against children.

Survivor privilege simply does not exist. We are shunned, doubted, laughed at, sneered at, labelled as weak, damaged, or promiscuous, told we should have enjoyed it, or asked if we did. Some of us are revictimised by the legal system, left with legal costs, medical bills, and sometimes pregnant or divorced.

Does any of that sound like privilege to you, Mr Will?

I won’t pretend, however, that this one journalist is the source of all victim blaming. A quick browse through Facebook on any given day will yield thread after thread where victims are blamed, shamed, and mocked, while perpetrators are pitied and excused. There are even groups among the so-called men’s rights movement advocating for a broader definition of consent, a higher burden of proof, and a greater tolerance of sexual abuse. In doing so, they not only hurt women and children, but also the male victims of rape and sexual assault who are already desperately short of gender specific services.

Not only are rape and sexual abuse, myths commonly reinforced through news articles and prime-time television, but the attitudes surrounding them come through in everything from advertising, to humour, and popular music.

This brings us to the point about false allegations. Far being a common occurrence, false rape accusations generally run between 2% and 8% across all genders, and research shows that those are almost always a result of mental health issues, rather than revenge, regret, or attention seeking, as rape apologists would have us believe.

There is nothing pleasant or privileged about being a survivor of sexual assault or sexual abuse.

In attempting to silence, shame, and cast doubt upon survivors of these crimes, journalists, politicians, activists, and members of the public are unwittingly offering support to sexual predators, not only making it easier for them to offend, but making it harder for the legal system to deal with them effectively.

Commentary like this affects all of us, either directly, or indirectly through those we know and love. We need to speak up, and make it clear that it is not okay to discredit survivors, it is not okay to perpetuate rape myths, and it is no okay to make excuse for sexual predators, whether in a public forum, or a private conversation.
Together we can change the way society views survivors of sexual assault. (JB)

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

5 thoughts on “I am so angry now. ‘Survivor Privilege’ is the latest way to shame victims of abuse.

  1. Id like to see some examples of what good people are doing for people suffering from things that you describe. Is there any good work being done out there?
    tj

    • Are you suggesting my blog posts aren’t what ‘you’ want/need to see?

      Considering how angry I feel right now, due to grieving considerable pain, due to so much abuse I have endured, your comment is very insensitive.

      I am ‘allowed’ to be angry and grieve on my own blog – which is about healing my severe trauma history.

      And yes, there are examples of people who do good – me – by proving a free website for those healing and running a community peer support page. Which I also blog about.

  2. I looked up the original column by George Will to see what the fuss was about. It is insensitive, poking fun at colleges for using “trigger warnings” (something blogs do all the time), and suggesting that so many rape charges are not real.

    He also didn’t like “sexual assault” being used to describe “nonconsensual touching.” For one thing, “sexual assault” is used legally to differentiate between rape (forcible penetration), and various forms of unwanted touching. I see it as a useful term. When my abusive ex tried to force me into anal sex, but didn’t “go in,” it was traumatic, but I figured it couldn’t be prosecuted. “Sexual assault” means it could be prosecuted.

    Will didn’t actually use the term “survivor privilege,” but talked like victimhood status is something people would *want* because of the attention and privileges they get. I have also heard some of this in politically conservative circles lately, referring to such things as welfare and Social Security, which is one reason why I have become a Democrat. 😛 You say you’re poor and need help, you say you’ve been discriminated against, and now you’re a “nation of victims” looking for handouts from people’s hard-earned money.

    This kind of attitude makes me sometimes feel like, “Oh, I must just be a victim, and I’m using my victim status to get attention on my blog.” When that’s not it at all: My blog is about reclaiming my life and speaking up about the various forms of abuse I’ve been through, a way to survive and thrive, NOT be a victim. But you still get people who think that writing and learning about abuse, is all about “being a victim.”

    As for the Washington Post, they don’t regret publishing the column because it inspired “healthy debate” and that’s great for a newspaper. 😛 Sells papers, you get more hits to your website, etc.

    • Thank you for you reply ❤

      I hate this kind of attitude perpetuated in society, that hurts people even more.

      I see so clearly how unhealthy society is, how it minimizes real suffering.

      I did what society thinks I should have done for 20 years – worked really hard, moved on, got over it, never talked about it. I was never a victim…..and all that did was make my current situation worse. Because it was the wrong thing to do.

      What society demands of people who have been abused, is unhealthy, harmful and wrong.

      So, I will continue to be a voice to try and do my part in voicing what is needed.