I am another EVB volunteer, taking over from this morning's debate regarding this tweet from @mwilliamsthomas
"The story about the 12yr girl being raped in London in early hours of Sunday morning is horrific. But what was she doing out at that time?"
The subsequent debate and defence of this tweet has troubled me greatly so I have asked to share may thoughts.
Regarding Mark's tweet, speaking as a child survivor, I need to emphasize that if I were that 12yr old girl reading that tweet – I would assume that either myself or those who were responsible for my care were being blamed instead of the people raping me. The focus from the perpetrators is shifted immediately. This is NOT ok.
The person responsible for rape is the rapist. Some of us had wonderful parenting – it didn’t stop us being raped. Many survivors are raped in their home. I share concerns regarding a 12 year old being out late at night. But surely the focus on this particular story – and where our energies should focus - is the fact that a child was raped.
Victim blaming can be subtle – as can be shifting the focus onto others. The only person responsible for raping this young girl is the rapist. Questions regarding caring responsibilities/safeguarding should be asked – but they shouldn’t be your biggest concern. It shouldn’t be your first question if you truly are victim-centered. This is BASIC.
Furthermore, people who support/work with victims can victim-blame. As can victims themselves. Working for victims rights does NOT make you immune from victim-blaming.
Please LISTEN to the voices of victims and survivors when we ASK you to reflect on your language and behaviour. Don't let defence be your first response - try to reflect why/how you may be victim-blaming. Thank you.