Health Blog Thing: Quotation Inspriation

Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.

I’m about to cheat here since I’m going to quote myself (but something I said… six years ago now? about… in a different Internet community):

You can do everything right and still get raped — and it’s scary to feel that powerless in the world.

07.05-A-0025

Initially, I wrote this as a response to people who were proffering what was essentially victim blaming as “common sense” advice. Like, it’s not actually helpful — not ever, really, but particularly not in the context of a sexual assault victim seeking support and advice — to suggest a list of “don’ts” (don’t wear revealing clothing, don’t drink, don’t go anywhere with strangers, etc.) as a means for not being raped. First off, this doesn’t really take into account that one is more likely to be raped by someone they know — friends, family, coworkers, intimate partners — than by a stranger. More importantly, it places the focus for the problem behavior on the act of sexual assault rather than on anything the survivor may or may not have done.

I still believe that’s important.

However, I’m also looking back at it now and going, “But you know, people shouldn’t have to do everything ‘right’ in order not to be raped.” In other words, people who do dress revealingly? Still retain their right to bodily autonomy. Who drink, even to excess? Still retain their right only to have sex when they consent. That basic right and dignity does not disappear just because someone might make a choice that is unhealthy, unwise, or contrary to what society tells us is “common sense” — which is often not all that sensical, anyway.

One shouldn’t have to be a “perfect victim,” both before and after an assault, in order to receive support, justice, understanding, and healing.

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