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Bad responses to being told about an assault. Can you add yours?

(105 Posts)
keepingmum121 Wed 24-Jun-15 20:46:06

I am half think of writing a little 'piece' on what NOT to say to someone who confides in you that they have been assaulted.

It seems (at least from my experience) that so many people who are lucky enough not have suffered an assault are completely unaware of how psychologically damaging their words can be sad

Here are mine. All of these have been said to me and badly hindered my chances of recovery:

"Why didn't you [insert brilliant idea that it is now too late to do]?"

"Well, you were in a nightclub."

"Are you sure?"

"I think the thing to learn from this is not to be alone with a man unless you really know him."

"You should have known he'd want sex."

ludovica Wed 24-Jun-15 20:48:25

"If this was true you would have called the police", from my mother.

keepingmum121 Wed 24-Jun-15 20:53:32

"You probably led him on"

thebeesankles Wed 24-Jun-15 20:55:46

"You may have been saying no but I know what a flirt you are when you are drunk. I bet your body language was saying come on, come on..." Complete with beckoning actions - from my best friend.

CtrlAltDelicious Wed 24-Jun-15 21:04:51

"But, you'd slept with him before, they're not going to believe you didn't want to this time."

StormyBrid Wed 24-Jun-15 21:06:24

A deadly serious, "I'm going to kill him." Like what I really need to help me heal is a shedload of guilt about my nearest and dearest going down for murder.

thelonggame Wed 24-Jun-15 21:11:46

"I told you not to go out dressed like that"

pocketsaviour Wed 24-Jun-15 21:16:46

"If you hated it that much you would have killed yourself" (from my abuser...)

"As long as he didn't put his penis in you it doesn't matter" (thanks mum)

After saying it had made me want to die: "You need to pull yourself together and think about how lucky you are" (mum again, and this was NOT said in a comforting way)

"Why didn't you just run away/scream/tell someone?" (multiple people)

"He's still your dad even if he molested you, you've got to invite him to our wedding" (a very short-lived fiancé)

"Shall I teach you some self-defence tactics?" (a well-meaning but clueless friend)

And stormy yes I've heard that several times, it's really not helpful for me to now have to worry about being responsible for your anger, dude.

keepingmum121 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:18:33

Would you all agree with me that these unhelpful nuggets were/are hugely damaging? More than just an unfortunate or tactless remark?

Also, did you find yourself trying to reason with the person, thereby opening yourself up to more and more victim blaming from them because they just don't get it?

keepingmum121 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:20:02

The ones from the well meaning people are the hardest to bear in my opinion sad

Jenoftheweek Wed 24-Jun-15 21:21:00

Well if you keep company with that type of person you can't be surprised that that happened.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jun-15 21:24:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

enviro300 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:28:56

" But you were his girlfriend so what if you were 14, it's not his fault really you did go out with him!" A ( now ex ) partner I told....

pocketsaviour Wed 24-Jun-15 21:28:58

OP yes I agree they are damaging and they make it much less likely that you will open up to other people, for fear of the same reaction.

blueistheonlycolourwefeel Wed 24-Jun-15 21:29:27

"I feel so sorry for his family"
(Thanks mum - about my abuser in case he loses his job after I reported him!)

Betrayedbutsurvived Wed 24-Jun-15 21:31:48

"It's not as bad as you're making out" and "serves you bloody right" from dear old mum and dad, this was at the hospital while I was waiting for X-rays which revealed several broken ribs. Mind you "stop whinging" and "you made your bed, now lie in it" from my sister when I sobbed to her that I had nowhere to go as my parents would only let me stay with them if I left my DD behind was up there too.

And best of all, after I finally found a way to escape "if your father knew he'd have wiped the floor with him" errrrr!!!

HumphreyCobbler Wed 24-Jun-15 21:32:29

I am so shocked reading this. It is terrible that people would say such things to you.

ninilegsintheair Wed 24-Jun-15 21:51:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dreamingofblueskies Wed 24-Jun-15 21:54:40

'What do you expect when you date someone 12 years older than you?'

I was 15, he was 27 and the sad thing was that for ages I thought they were right and that it was my fault. Took me a long time to realise that he was, in fact, a paedophile.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 24-Jun-15 22:06:36

"Well, it's all a big learning curve, isn't it? I mean in a way it's best to get these things out of the way, they do happen! Now you can go off to Uni and enjoy yourself! It's miles away so it's not like you'll have to think about is it?"

Said by my college form tutor when confided in her that I'd been sexually assaulted by the chef who worked at the pub where I waitressed for the summer before university.

Sad thing was I believed her and really thought I was being a bit silly, so I didn't report it and was approached a year or so later by the police after some other poor girl who was working there did sad

Florriesma Wed 24-Jun-15 22:10:17

"Oh that's sounds like fun"
Said by friend when I told her I had woken up to find then bf having sex with me.
yeah..that added to the confusion I felt somewhat. In her defence I suppose she was as naive as me.

LongDistanceLove Wed 24-Jun-15 22:13:17

"How much did you drink"

When I told the police I was raped.

Joysmum Wed 24-Jun-15 22:13:58

To not say anything at all. I didn't know what he thought and he never spoke about it until I fell apart. When I asked him about it, he said he thought I wouldn't want to talk about it.

He was the first person I'd told and I told because I needed to talk.

yummytummy Wed 24-Jun-15 22:17:39

"Oh you shouldn't have made him angry" from my mother after telling her about exh's dv where he fractured my wrist. And she wonders why I don't want to be in touch.

McBarFly Wed 24-Jun-15 22:18:51

"I'm glad you didn't report it, you'd have wrecked his life."

A no-longer friend who has to believe that 99% of asssults, especially those that don't involve dark alleys, are false accusations by evil women set up to ruin decent upstanding men. I think she finds it easier to believe that than accept that her brother was convicted because he was guilty.

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