Friday, February 13, 2015

Stop Blaming the Innocent

As many of my friends and family know I was bullied relentlessly in school.  For those who are new to me and this blog I won't go into the gory details, but let's just say it was brutal and daily.  To the point where suicide was a very real option for me, one I tried and luckily didn't succeed.  But because of my experience I have become very loud about anti-bullying, especially in our schools.  I never want another child to go through the hell that I experienced day after day and year after year. 

To be treated as less than human and then be told by teachers and administrators to grow a thicker skin or ignore them was never acceptable, and it still isn't.  That puts the work on the victim to make their situation better when in reality they never did anything to make it bad to begin with.  My favorite was always "You must have done something to make them dislike you", oh yeah that was a good one.  Because no, I didn't.  I was the new kid all the time, and we didn't have a lot of money for new clothes so I wore a lot of thrift store finds.  Guess what?  Instant target.  The other good one was "If you don't react they will stop." Oh yeah, like you can just ignore having glue put in your hair or ignore being shoved to the ground every day, or ignore having rubber bands flung at you, or even better ignore a group of older kids beating you black and blue with their books...Yep I will just walk away and pretend that never happened.

See all of this is blaming the victim, and that has got to stop.  Our society loves to do this, and not just with bullies.  Rape victims get blamed all the time.  If she hadn't of dressed so provocatively, if she hadn't have drank so much or taken that drug.  If she hadn't have gone with that guy.  What the hell does that have to do with anything?  If there is no consent, or if there is no mental capacity to give consent then it is rape and the perpetrator is the one at fault.

Even certain murders society will look at and blame the victim based on that person's past.  Were they a sex worker, oh well then they led a risky lifestyle so it was bound to happen.  NO!  That does no excuse on person taking another person's life.  A person's life is not more valuable based on what choices they make in life.  Just because they are a gang member doesn't mean they aren't somebody's son, or brother, or even father.  We may not agree with their choices, but it doesn't mean a life wasn't lost.

Stop blaming the victims people.  Start placing the blame where it belongs, on the people committing the acts that make these people victims.  Nobody deserves to be bullied, nobody deserves to be raped, and nobody deserves to be murdered.  Let's get our priorities right here and stop blaming the innocent.

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