May 19, 2014

Response to the Daily

CW: abuse, victim shaming, violence

Hello everyone,

In light of the Daily article titled “Don’t play the blame game: Be a survivor”, we felt that it was important for SARVA to take a stand. While we understand the Daily had the intent of empowering folks who have been through abuse, we need to understand as a community the kind of impact articles like these make.

In situations of abuse, power has been taken away from the survivor or victim. Telling that person what word to use does not let them define their own experience, and takes that power away again. People who have experienced or are experiencing abuse, we have the right to define our lives with any word we want. These words can change to describe our ways of healing or not healing, and working with trauma.

In the quote “A victim blames themselves. A victim makes excuses. A victim hides, and a victim lies for their assailant”, the article is policing the behaviors that victims sometimes engage in. Not all victims do these things, and asserting so is stigmatizing to victims. Also, for people who have engaged in these activities, it is often to survive their abuse, and we cannot condemn these coping mechanisms that keep people alive.

SARVA is not in favor of the sentiments of this article, but we also do not support personal attacks on the author. While this article is problematic in several ways, we encourage feelings to be about the article and the content as opposed to the person who wrote it, as we are all in different places of learning. SARVA wishes to continue this learning process is in current conversations with the Daily about this article. As we make progress, we will keep you all informed. In case you have not seen the article, there is a link below with the content warnings listed at the top of this post.