I’m a Victim: Get Over It

victim/ˈvɪktɪm/noun
1.a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
2.a person who is tricked or duped.
3. a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment.

This is the definition of ‘victim as it appears on Google, that Oracle of all knowledge.

Why put it here? We all think we know what victim means. But increasingly the language we use around ‘victimhood’ is really getting my goat. And I need to get it off my chest!

The applications of those terms is described as follows:

1.”victims of domestic violence”synonyms:sufferer, injured party, casualty, injured person, wounded person;
2. “the victim of a hoax” synonyms: dupe, easy target, easy prey, fair game, sitting target, everybody’s fool, stooge, gull, fool, Aunt Sally
3. “I saw myself as a victim”

From the curse of Strictly’s latest target, Rebecca Humphries , boldly declaring, to much acclaim, ‘I am not a victim’ to the DV/DA movements’ description of people as ‘survivors’, we love our victims fighting back. But more than that, as a society we want them over it, to silence and shame victims and avoid any kind of boat rocking.

But victims aren’t often active players in the events that gave them the label.

Whilst I agree that ‘survivor’ language can be empowering, it leaves those of us who are victims, but who can’t walk away from it, with a degree of shame.

Shouldn’t we be forgetting all about it, writing it off to experience, putting on a bright smile and facing the World stronger than ever before?

All I can say is Foxtrot Oscar back to your imaginary World.

I am angry.

I am furious that I was manipulated by a seasoned groomer, who obtained my ‘consent’ to a sexual relationship under completely false pretences. Worse, I was explicit about not consenting to sex with a married man or someone who was in a relationship with someone else – he was both. The deceit, the manufacturing of consent, have me seething silently inside.

But it goes wider. I am pissed off at the person who spiked my drink in a bar and left me in the humiliating position of crawling along a hotel carpet until I could no longer walk.

I am seething about numerous other abuses that I’m still too ashamed to admit here. And about the ones being meted out on some of the most amazing, strong, trailblazing women who have recently come into my life.

To the bastard who sexually harassed me at work ( I hope you read this) I say f* you too.

And to the pathetic wankers who livestreamed themselves to me masturbating: I pity you if that’s the only way you can get your rocks off.

And to the despicable coward who used the cover of a crowded tube to press his erection into my back, I hope you get the pox.

So yes, I’m a victim. I continue to be victimised, as do many of the strongest women I have ever met, women who have found their voices at great personal cost and spoken out.

Take look at yourself. Has nothing ever happened to you? Never been short changed in a shop? Never tripped over a paving stone that shouldn’t have been there? Never come back to a car park and found a dent in your car that wasn’t there before? Never been served a watered down drink, or ordered something online that wasn’t as described?

Chances are you’ve been a victim of something in your life. So stop adding stigma to the rest of the shit that victims who speak out generally have to put up with.

Call me what you like, because I probably don’t care. I’ll likely have been called worse. Fell free to call me a victim, but leave your own baggage at the door please. There should be no shame to being a victim. The shame should lie firmly with the perpetrator.

Things happen. Don’t add to the horror of these invasions by shaming me, and others like me, victims.

I’m a victim who doesn’t feel like, or want to be, a hero. I certainly don’t feel like a survivor as I struggle through a quagmire of law, justice and damage. And whilst it would far easier to shut up and go away, I don’t feel that the strength I’ve had to find deserves applauding. IT leaves me anxious and alone. I just feel utterly effing pissed off with the whole thing. Pissed off that I still live in fear. That I face the consequences in my mental health, in my ability to enjoy social occasions, in the trust that’s been ripped out of me.

Is it a good thing that I’ve found out who my true friends, who the good people are? I call B-S! I was happy the way things were. Happy go lucky, with people I hadn’t yet met being potential friends, rather than potential abusers. Trusting.

Take your silver lining and shove it. I know you mean well, but I don’t think there is one to some of the crap that’s come out of the woodwork. Stop expecting me to find it, to suddenly declare I’m glad things happened.

To my fellow victims I say close your ears to the expectations. You do with your experience whatever you need to do – block it out, scream it from the rooftops, have a cry if you want to. Take a trip round the World, find a better life or just stay exactly where you were before. You do what you need to do to heal, to move on with your new reality.

You may even be resilient enough to just tuck it in a box and move on. That used to be me. But the box is now too full and the lid won’t fit back on. Does that make me weak? No! It makes me mad as Hell!

No-one asks to become a victim, whatever the judges who suggest that your type of undies mean ‘you asked for it’ might think.

Anyone can be abused, yes even the people that illustrious (racist) judges suggest are too ugly to have been raped.

The only people who are to blame are the perpetrators. Our only expectation should be that they will be stopped.

We all deserve to be taken seriously, even by a pressed police force with more than the odd bad apple. We all deserve to be heard, and we should all have the right to speak up to protect others.

The word victim is just a word. It’s bad enough that as a society we are prone to victim shaming (see judges, above). Don’t add to this by sullying the word with your preconceived notions and expectations.

It’s just a descriptor used for someone who’s been at the end of a wrongdoing. To anyone who suggests being a victim is a bad thing, yeah. It is. Because some asshole did something wrong, not because we somehow fell for it or came out at the wrong end of it.

Change your tune. Change the effing record. Blame the perp and give us a break! I am not proud to be a victim.Neither am I ashamed to be a victim. All my life I’ve taken responsibility for myself and others, but that stops here.

Take your victim blaming. Take your ‘oh but what about false accusations’. (If you’re falsely accused, welcome, you’ve just joined this club. You became a victim, and the title is yours too. ) Take your ‘stop talking about it, stop doing it to yourself’.

I was put here. I didn’t choose to be here. It was someone else’s decision.

I choose to fight and stand up for others because that’s in my nature. I don’t complain about things without also trying to find solutions. I’m accustomed to doing it quietly, behind the scenes. (OK. I admit. I used to be noisy and ebullient, but ten ton of citalopram and a lot of time indoors is wont to change a person!)

The victim ‘club’ is not full of skinny, brow beaten women waiting for the next fist to fall. It’s a club that’s a model of inclusivity, transcending race, gender, politics, age, size, social status, wealth and any other way you choose of categorising people. It’s full of the timid, the strong, the famous, the obscure. The only thing that unites us is the stigma that people apply to the word.

So give me back my word.

VICTIM! The only thing you should be reading into that word is that some f**ker did something harmful. Any other assumptions about US are probably wrong.

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

One Reply to “I’m a Victim: Get Over It”

  1. Love a good rant. Thanks for putting down what many of us have brewing and would probably benefit from doing the same! Xx

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