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Victim Blaming

(53 Posts)
Bathsheba Sun 28-Feb-16 23:30:00

I was attacked at work on Friday. I work as a 1 to 1 for a child with ASN.

Normally we can read his cues but we got it wrong. I have scratches all over my neck.

I had a top on that was appropriate for school however it left my neck exposed. My line manager was supportive but her stance was very much that I had left myself unprotected and I had become too relaxed as my child had become calmer over the last 8 weeks.

It's been a very traumatic time for me and I'm very stressed about going back in tomorrow morning. My Union are very good but I don't want to cause ructions... However I think blaming me for not having a high necked top on is too much.

Genuinely still jittery about going in tomorrow and I am worried that anything that happens now will be seen as my fault for not protecting myself

TealLove Sun 28-Feb-16 23:32:29

I'm sorry but that sounds really unsupportive and horrible. How on earth would exposing your neck contribute in some way to this attack it's ridiculous.

RubyRoseViolet Sun 28-Feb-16 23:33:48

Gosh, I feel for you massively. I'm very sorry your employers decided to blame you rather than support you in this extremely stressful situation. How did your boss think you'd let your guard down? Are you meant to wear roll neck sweaters every day or something?!

NewNameNotTheSame Sun 28-Feb-16 23:34:23

What are you supposed to do in the middle of summer, wear a turtle neck? Ridiculous attitide. You misjudged the situation and paid the price, your clothing choice had nothing to do with it. He could well have scratched your face.

manicinsomniac Sun 28-Feb-16 23:34:53

I'm sorry you were hurt and feel anxious. I think 'blaming' would be going a bit far but suggesting that you wear a higher necked top in future would actually be sensible and no victim blaming at all.

You can't really be a victim of a person who is not making a conscious and malicious decision to attack you.

It's a little bit like saying that you shouldn't be blamed for getting a chemical in your eye if you didn't wear safety goggles or for hurting yourself on a machine in the DT room because you wore a tie and it got caught in it.

You do need to dress safely for your job and, for you, this means no exposed skin.

WorraLiberty Sun 28-Feb-16 23:35:24


What do they expect you to do during the Summer anyway?

RubyRoseViolet Sun 28-Feb-16 23:36:42

Just re read your op. She really did expect you to be wearing a high necked top? Crumbs, I think she feels bad about what happened a X knows that she will be in trouble for not taking better care of you. I would complain if I were you. At the very least I'd go and tell her how upset you feel about the attack and the way she handled it.

soapboxqueen Sun 28-Feb-16 23:40:04

I think you need to have a discussion about appropriate clothing with your union and with your line manager.

Has specific clothing been mentioned before? If not, why only after an incident? If it has, what use would it have been in this instance seeing as it would be very easy to scratch over the top of say a turtle neck top.

Bathsheba Sun 28-Feb-16 23:40:41

Can I say I had a fairly normal Evans top on - I am a plus size girl and I dresses comfortablely for a very warm modern building - this was not something to go clubbing in or that made me look "exposed"

BillSykesDog Sun 28-Feb-16 23:42:47

It sounds very distressing and you have my sympathy. However I think victim blaming normally applies to shifting the blame from the person who did it to the victim. And given the child's needs I don't really think blame can be assigned to anyone in this case.

Because the child does have these additional needs I do think that it's reasonable for your employer to point out ways in which you can minimise risk to yourself. By the very nature of your job it sounds like you're going to have to deal with situations like this and will need to be as well prepared as possible, and that could include pointing out that over relaxation may have contributed to the situation getting out of control.

Bear in mind that you have only been doing this for 8 weeks and it's going to be a learning curve with this particular time. You're aware that this particular situation can happen now and for your own sake you need to learn how to handle them better in the future so you can prevent yourself being harmed again.

Look at it as learning rather than being blamed.

Bathsheba Sun 28-Feb-16 23:44:52

I've never been told to wear special clothes out with the normal staff appropriate clothes (no jeans etc). I normally wear leggings, a long top and boots with a cardigan and jacket for the day when I am outside for an hour covering lunchtime- I do that on a Thursday and the attack happened on a Friday when I do not cover outside at lunch

BillSykesDog Sun 28-Feb-16 23:48:12

I think maybe you should be discussing with your Union if they have any liability because they didn't inform you of this risk and the need to dress to minimise it.

Bathsheba Sun 28-Feb-16 23:50:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fatmomma99 Sun 28-Feb-16 23:53:02

does ASN = additional special needs? If so, and going on your post, presume you work in a school? Dress codes for schools are usually that you aren't inappropriately dressed (i.e. not anything that shows your pants (when you sit on a chair and the children sit on the floor) or too much of your cleavage. And a lot of schools have a 'thing' about not wearing jeans). I can't think of a SN that sends a SN child wild if they see your neck. Are you supposed to go to work in a suit of amour? Is the SN "I am blood sucky"?)

If you DO work in a school (and apologies if I've read this wrong and you don't!) and you DIDN'T go into school with your nipples hanging out, I'm not sure what your clothes had to do with it, or why your neck being on display should be a red rag to the child.

Whatever the SN (other than Vampire), they shouldn't attack your neck because they can see it.

Fatmomma99 Sun 28-Feb-16 23:57:01

OMG, this child ripped at you. And they're saying YOU are to blame???


This is atrocious.

Good that you are in a union - get onto them. Unless that gap (showing skin) in your pic goes down to your arse cheeks (and a little lower), you've done NOTHING wrong.

Actually, someone else should be with this kid on Monday, and you should be assigned to another child.

The Head should make this happen (and it should be in place before you get into school tomorrow!)

BillSykesDog Sun 28-Feb-16 23:58:25

OP, please don't take this the wrong way, but given you've described the exact incident and now you've posted pictures (you have a fairly distinctive hairstyle and the scratches etc) you've made yourself pretty identifiable to anyone who works at your school or is aware of the incident (inc child's parents).

Given that you are being critical of your boss and employer are you entirely sure this is a good idea?

Bathsheba Sun 28-Feb-16 23:58:41

Yep, I work in a primary schools and I was wearing a normal Evans top where no-one would have been aware of the existance of my nipples. My child (who I adore) is well below puberty when he would care about the flesh of a mother figure in her mid 40s

Samcro Mon 29-Feb-16 00:01:25

good god mn at its best
another thread pretty much outing someone with sn

Bathsheba Mon 29-Feb-16 00:02:22

I've asked for the pics to be deleted

Bathsheba Mon 29-Feb-16 00:03:59

Samcro - I absolutely love this child. I work with him all day every day and the shock of this was because we are normally fabulous together

Samcro Mon 29-Feb-16 00:04:51

then you would have known the triggers

TealLove Mon 29-Feb-16 00:06:41

It's not the OPs fault!

Samcro Mon 29-Feb-16 00:07:31

or the childs

Bathsheba Mon 29-Feb-16 00:09:04

No, I couldn't. It's not as simple as that. He attacked me completely out with his normal behaviour and triggers. This was sudden and completely outside his normal behaviours- as agreed with another TA who was with me and our teai

Bathsheba Mon 29-Feb-16 00:09:18


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