When someone goes out of their way to make a public service announcement about rape and reporting, we would assume that they would have a basic understanding of the mentality of a rape victim. Sadly though, this is not always the case and information then becomes available that can further damage and silence victims.
Recently on youtube, a user posted a video called Rape Scot-Free depicting a short monologue by a young man, blaming rape victims for the continuance of rape in their communities. His argument being that victims who do not come forward and report their rape are selfish and in turn aiding the perpetrator, enabling him/her to continue their acts of violence.
As a survivor of rape, I have to say that I was extremely disturbed by the video. The lack of basic insight into the mind of a survivor is appalling and in my opinion, highly ineffective. What this video has done however is further strengthen victim blaming in a society that already holds such fascist opinions.
I am one of the survivors that he is addressing in his video. Like many, I was raped and did not report the incident to the police. If I were to believe this video, I would be the victim who should be ashamed of not doing anything to stop the acts of violence from continuing. I would believe that I am the “good girl who keeps her mouth shut” and helped the man that raped me. I would believe that it is my fault that society doubts my rape because someone who is really raped would report it. I would believe that speaking out about my rape is simply “complaining” and not preventing. I would believe that I have no voice, that I have no right to talk about a faulty system because I am the fault in the system. I would believe that I am to blame for any acts of rape after me, because I am the only one who can change anything.
Create a video in black and white; speak sarcastically and angrily towards me. Tell me what I have done wrong and question my rape. Make me doubt myself and introduce more shame to the act of violence; blame me, again. If the motive of this video was merely shock response, then congratulations because I am shocked. However, if the hope of this video was to get victims like me to report, you failed miserably. As shame and fear are the primary tools of rapists to keep their victims silenced, I would ask how someone using shame against me now is any better?
As a survivor of rape, I can say that this video did not make me want to report, but rather strengthened my belief that we still have so much work left to do in educating people about the act and aftermath of rape. What happened to me is not my fault. I am not to blame. It’s time to put the blame where it belongs; the rapist not the raped.
This video really is angering. This video basically shows WHY many don’t report. Why should I report and expose myself to even more traumatization through blaming, scrutiny, etc if there is such a small chance of any conviction anyway?
We need to hold rapists accountable and change the way sexual violence is addressed instead of making angry victim-shaming youtube videos.
i was raped two weeks ago and since the police have treated me appallingly. they have basically told me that it was my fault and that i brought it on myself, they don’t believe a single word i say and are actually looking for things to convict me for. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T COME FORWARD. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE
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A fool like this man can only be explained as both completely ignorant or suppressing strong and shameful deeds. If he weren’t so heinous in his attack, he might provoke some offers of help for his distorted (lack of) reasoning and obvious lack of compassion and intelligence. Some male victims, I’m told resort to attacking other victims as a way of hiding their own shame resulting from abuse.
“How are we not to conclude that you wanted this all along? When you decided to just lay there and not resist…”
This, for me, is the most disturbing part of this video. Guess I must have wanted it all along. Never mind the paralysing fear, never mind the dissociation, never mind the learned helplessness when it had happened to me over and over again.
And no, I didn’t go to the police either. I made contact with them about it for the first time about a month ago, because I thought maybe I was strong enough (the sexual abuse happened over a period between 5 and a half and 4 years ago). When I was told about the detail I’d have to go into when making a video statement, I realised I couldn’t cope with it. Maybe that’s selfish. But maybe I have to be selfish sometimes, because I’ve suffered severe PTSD for the last 3 years of my life and it’s not so long ago that I fully intended to end my life. It’s only recently that I mastered my alcoholism. It’s only recently that I got on top of the self-harm. Maybe if I’m not a teensy bit “selfish” on this one, I’ll mess my life up forever. Maybe I need to cope in any way I can right now.
Sadly I imagine my abuser will go on to do it again. It tortures me every f**king day and night. But it won’t actually be my fault if he does. It will only be his own. I know that really, I hate idiots like this making me doubt myself again. Blame blame blame blame blame.
Thank you for sharing this video, I may write a blog post on it at some point soon when I’ve calmed down a bit, and I’ll link back to this page.
God I’m angry with this guy…
thank you for sharing. don’t judge yourself for trying to piece your life back together. we all have our reasons for not coming forward and no one gets to judge you for it. i respect your decision and appreciate your honesty. -ophelia
I flagged this video for it’s horrific content. Let’s hope the YouTube administrators aren’t morons like this guy.
He is creepy, and the video is scary. I dont even know what to say about it. How can someone post something like that without even experiencing rape first hand?
People DONT report because of people LIKE him! Who is he to say whether a woman should report or not? He doesnt know the situation that a woman may have gone through…there are SO MANY reasons why women dont report. I’m angered by this.
Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂
– Marc Shaw
Cheers! Thanks so much for the feedback.