“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..
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.
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)