Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.


Victim Shaming Throughout Society Is More Abuse ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

stop victim shaming

 

Throughout my work as an advocate and writer about abuse and trauma, it has become very clear and very concerning to me, as to the depths of victim shaming and victim blaming I see throughout society.

Just the simple and widely used phrase ‘don’t be a victim’ – is victim shaming and those with insight will understand why.

“There is no more shame in being a victim of abuse,

as there is a victim of any other crime.”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I have become an ‘anti-victim shaming warrior’ as a result of my life experiences, research and insight and I know the depths of harm it causes and how toxic it is. My aim is always to support survivors and to help them work out why different forms of abuse cause harm, with victim shaming being one of them.

Some will argue that victim shaming is not always meant with malice and I agree – but that doesn’t make it okay, or any less harmful and education is required to reduce it and support the victims/survivors.

This is a list of some of the types of victim shaming, victim blaming, shame shifting and psychological abuse I see as a result.


When Perpetrators Of The Abuse Are Family

There is a lot of shaming of abuse survivors, where the perpetrator is a family member, or collective dysfunctional/abusive family. Sayings like “but they’re family”, “she’s your mother, she did the best she could” and suggestions that family are exempt from being accountable for the abuse, are all ways survivors of abuse face being shamed for their needed emotions about being abused by family, and shamed for wanting healthy and needed boundaries from abusive family.

No-one has to tolerate ongoing abuse and harm – just because it’s from family members.

Survivors have a right to a full range of emotions about abusive family and every right to have safe boundaries to stop ongoing abuse.

“The amount of distance required away from

abusive family, is directly ‘relative’

to amount of harm they are choosing to

inflict and their unwillingness to stop”

~ Lilly Hope Lucario


About Forgiving Abusers

This is common one I see throughout society, and within the abuse survivor community. Society has been so brainwashed by religious and spiritual abuse and the belief that you must forgive your abuser in order to heal and in order to be a ‘good person’. Neither of these are correct. A survivor of abuse can make a personal choice about forgiveness, but it is not okay to project that onto others. Survivors can heal and move on from the abuse, without forgiving the abuser. Some survivors of abuse find it empowering to forgive and some find it empowering not to. It is not an act of aggression to close the door to the past abuse and not look back.

Some survivors of abuse decide after considerable contemplation and soul searching, that it is simply not their responsibility or burden to forgive an unrepentant and unremorseful abuser. That is an educated and insightful decision. Not forgiving does not mean you hold onto anger. It does not mean you are a ‘bad/unkind person’. And it certainly is not weakness, or an act of spite or a character flaw. I see considerable shaming about this issue – even from other survivors. I also see how forced forgiveness, premature forgiveness and forgiving non-remorseful abusers, can actually be damaging to the survivor’s healing and can also allow abuse to continue.

I am thankful to see mental health professionals taking a stand on this and expressing their concern about the shaming issue of forgiveness.

For more info see:

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-i-dont-use-the-word-forgiveness-in-trauma-therapy-0120164

https://evergreencounseling.com/why-you-dont-need-or-have-to-forgive-anyone-if-you-dont-want-or-feel-ready-to/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/when-forgiveness-isnt-a-v_b_8870524


Not Being ‘Compassionate Enough’ For Their Abusers

Often people want to jump straight to assuming an abuser must have reasons why they became abusive and this somehow leads to being an ‘excuse’. Yes, there are reasons that may have led to someone becoming an abusive person, but they are not excuses. Abuse is a choice and that needs to be very clearly understood. Someone’s trauma and abuse history, is not an excuse to abuse someone. Many survivors of abuse and trauma do not go on to become abusive themselves, and this is a choice anyone can make.

In suggesting that an abuse survivor is not ‘compassionate enough’ about the abuser’s possible reasons for being abusive, this is inappropriate and victim shaming. An abuse survivor does not ‘have’ to feel compassion for someone who caused terrible pain and suffering and to say otherwise, is psychological abuse.


When Abuse Victims React Back To The Abuser

This is a very clear issue I see occurring, where after ongoing and relentless abuse – the victim reacts backs to the perpetrator e.g. in anger, calls the abuser names, even hitting them back. This is not abuse – when it is a reaction to ongoing abuse and provocation. But, these actions are wrongly deemed by some to be abuse.

It is very unreasonable to assume a victim of ongoing abuse, should have perfect reactions and always remain calm. It is victim shaming to suggest that reactions that are out of the normal character for that victim’s behaviour, and only occurred due to ongoing and relentless abuse, are wrong. Even the most patient, loving, kind, empathic people can be pushed to react in ways they would never normally behave, under extreme provocation and after enduring ongoing abuse.

It’s also further psychological abuse when the abuser then claims to be ‘the victim’, due to these reactions to the abuse inflicted. This occurs very often with abusers and is part of their ongoing manipulation and gaslighting abuse.

It is very normal to be angry at being abused. It is healthy to feel anger at the injustices suffered and it is shows the victim loves themselves enough to be upset at the mistreatment and harm they have endured.

For more info see:

https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/reactive-abuse-what-it-is-and-why-abusers-rely-on-it/


Not Leaving An Abusive Relationship ‘Soon Enough’

There are many very valid reasons why abuse victims don’t leave abusive relationships quickly. To suggest the abuse is their ‘own fault’ because they didn’t leave, is victim shaming and abusive. To suggest they are ‘asking for it’ if they stay or go back, is victim blaming and abusive.

The focus should not be “why didn’t he/she leave?” – it should be “why didn’t the perpetrator stop abusing?”.

For further info see:

Continue reading


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Processing abusive ‘victim blaming’ rhetoric I endured in counselling. Again ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

I’m aware of the levels of victim shaming, victim blaming and shame shifting that goes on in society. Especially with church people.

I’ve recently had it in counselling. Again. I wasn’t okay as it was said and I’m far from okay with it now. Often it takes me time to work out why something was not okay. And it’s one of several reasons for quitting counselling.

My counsellor – in a highly un-empathic way and insensitive way  – decided to label all I have done online and here on my blog over the last 4 years, as me being ‘seduced by trauma’.

So in other words, I ‘chose’ to keep myself in a state of thinking about trauma. Which is utter fucking BS. I have severe PTSD and I have no choice in thinking about trauma. I spent 2 decades from 20-40 desperately trying to avoid thinking about trauma. So to suggest I have been willingly making myself think about trauma, is disgusting.

Doing all I have done online, in many ways has saved my life. I had a breakdown, due to church people abusing me, which pushed me over the edge of coping. My writing, reaching out, my work online, all became a way for me to cope. Because only online, did I find anyone who ‘gets it’.

And it is such re-traumatising language. ‘Seduced by trauma’. What a pathetic attempt at victim blaming, victim shaming. It’s the same abusive rhetoric paedophile priests use to blame the children for ‘seducing’ them. It’s the same abusive rhetoric many abusive and toxic people use, to victim blame.

But, that’s church people for you. Victim blaming and victim shaming is what many of them choose to believe in. Continue reading


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How toxic people often deal with the abuse they inflict ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Sadly, these are also some of the attitudes of survivors of abuse too. They choose to minimize or invalidate their own trauma and other people’s trauma, to cope. And they then demand other people do the same. They can also make excuses for the abuser – to make it all feel better. Or they will demand that ‘forgiveness’ is necessary and shame other survivors, or demand ‘forgive and forget’ is the way to deal with it. They will also use phrases such as ‘let it go, move on’.

All unhealthy attitudes, that do not aid healing. So, I do advise people ignore such unhealthy attitudes. Continue reading


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So over the victim shaming, shame shifting rhetoric, from ‘professionals’

It is becoming increasingly evident to me, of the rhetoric within the mental health profession, of focussing on the how the victim of harmful toxic behaviour ‘should’ think respond, react. And shaming them for reacting with emotions such as anger.

Within the last few weeks, I have faced seeing a book written by a mental health professional stating ‘there are no victims, there are no villains’. ‘There are no angels there are no demons’. (Note ‘there are no angels implies the victim is somehow at fault and minimizing the responsibility of the perpetrator). With no clarification this is only referencing your average families, with average behaviours. No clarification this not at all appropriate for situations where intentional ongoing abuse is occurring.

There are indeed victims and villains, angels and demons and it is incredible toxic to suggest differently.

I’ve also been following a page of a well know marriage guidance mental health profession team – a husband and wife team – with the perfect marriage – telling everyone else how they should act and respond. As per their rhetoric – you ‘should never’ respond to anything from your spouse, with accusations, contempt, anger etc. No matter what they are doing.  You should always remain calm, and not upset the other person. Criticising, contempt, accusations of ‘any’ kind – makes ‘you’ the bad person. Again – no clarification that this only applies to your average, surface, minor marriage issues. So as per this duo, you should never respond to an affair, constant lying, constant disrespect, emotional abuse etc from your partner – with anger, disgust, contempt, criticism etc.

Total bullshit. You have every right to be angry, to criticise toxic behaviour and show contempt and disgust…. for intentional abusive behaviour.

Both of these attitudes perpetuated by these ‘professionals’ are about invalidating, normalising and minimizing abusive behaviour….. and shifting the focus and responsibility away from the perpetrator and shaming the victim for their needed, normal and human appropriate responses.

So, as per these professionals, you are supposed to never accept you are being victimised, remain completely calm, not be angry with the perpetrator, and just remain calm and zen like and not upset the perpetrator, in any way. Or define they as abusers. And if you do – you are the bad person.

See the shame shifting there. I see it clearly. Continue reading