Self Blaming after sexual abuse, rape or domestic violence

Since I have been helping survivors of sexual assault, rape and domestic violence. But I also have experience in helping Children that have been sexually abused. What I have seen a lot of during my time of helping different people with different stories is that one time or another they blame themselves for what happened. They say things like

“I feel like its my fault because I kept going back”
“I didn’t say no”

“He said I liked it”

“I shouldn’t have been wearing the shirt that I was wearing”

“I didn’t scream”

“I ranaway”

“I was drinking”

“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time”

“A friend/A parent told me not to go and I still went”

The list goes on and on but one thing is it is never the survivors fault. Everyone has the right to wear what they want, go out and have fun and drink if they want. You have the right to have fun. You have the right to feel safe where ever you are. You have the right to have your decision respected. You have the right to feel comfortable around the people you are with.

Self-Blaming can be hard especially when we say these things to ourselves. But, an important thing to remember is that what happened is not your fault no matter what! No one asks to be sexually assault, raped, be in a domestic violence relationship nor be abused as a child.

Self-Blaming is common after a sexual assault, rape, or a domestic violence relationship or even child abuse because it is common for survivors to think that they could have done something different, or that they could have prevented it. But, we don’t know what the other person is thinking, we don’t know what their intensions are beforehand. All we can control is what we do, and that includes having fun, going out to parties, hanging out with friends, dressing comfortable.

Somethings that you can do to overcome Self-Blaming

-Write on a post-it note, “It was not my fault!” and place it on your mirror or somewhere you can see it every day.

-Writing your strengths for example writing, cleaning, singing, reading.

-Noticing how far you have come, even it just happened. You have overcome something traumatic.

-Another important thing is remember to take care of yourself. This is going to be a time that it is important to take care of yourself. That includes making sure you are eating well, reaching out for support, making sure you are sleeping enough, do things that you enjoy doing.

Some additional info for self care tips https://www.rainn.org/articles/self-care-after-trauma

If you need counseling, you can locate your closest Rape Crisis Center at they offer counseling at low cost or free.  www.centers.rainn.org

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