Madison Talks About Victim Blaming

I couldn’t find the definition on dictionary.com so I got the definition off of Wikipedia:
‘’Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible’’

When it comes to victim blaming, it happens a lot in rape cases or bullying situations. Where the woman/man who had just been raped gets accused of asking for it. Or that boy who is getting bullied on the playground deserved it because he cried in class last week. Things like that don’t really make sense to me, why would someone ask for something bad to happen to them. On that note it reminds me of a quote I love, It’s sadly another unknown author, but if anyone one can find the author let me know because I’d love to give credit for it.

“The boy you punched in the hall today. Committed suicide a few minutes ago.
The boy you called lame for not going to the party. He has to work every night to support his family.
That girl you push down the stairs. She’s already abused at home.
The girl you called fat. She’s already starving herself.
The old man you made fun of because of his ugly scar. He fought for our country.
The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying.
You may think you know them. Guess what? You don’t!”
~unknown

It’s not really a quote on victim blaming but it does give a good message. When you are accusing someone of something, no one ever really understands what someone else has gone through. So victim blaming is really unfair especially if something that is out of their control.

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Howie Talks About Victim Blaming

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco and today we will be discussing the topic of Victim Blaming. Victim blaming is when a victim is blamed partially or in whole for the wrongful act that befell them. In life you actually hear about this a lot as a lot of people do victim blaming without even thinking about doing it. It can be as simple as saying you got yourself into this mess or as hurtful as saying they deserved it anyway. We’re going to talk more about the latter as it’s actually a pretty big topic in this day and age in social media, mostly from cases involving rape. A lot of people have different opinions or values that cause them to say something like that its because the victim dressed a certain way or they acted a certain way that left room open for it to be a grey area for the perpetrator to be in the right.

Which brings us to the story I’ve had in mind for this blog for a while, have you heard of a man named Elliot Rodger. Now of course this man is a perpetrator as discussed above but his story fits so well into what victim blaming is. In 2014 he shot six people before killing himself, his reason though was not because the people had wronged him nope it was because he was a virgin. He went on a killing spree because girls had rejected him, although only two of his victims were female the reason why it’s victim blaming is that he made a video before it. This video described that what he was doing was the girls fault that it was retribution or punishment for their decisions. He’s victim blaming his own victim’s for his crimes now that is something not uncommon for murders of this type of crime but usually the person chooses just to end their own life.

Then there’s Amanda Todd, another famous name for this blog, a victim of victim blaming. She was stalked and tormented by a man who took pornographic photos of her, but at her school, and at other schools her friends treated her as though it was her own fault. Her own fault for making the photos in the first place, and bullied her mercilessly for it. This run of victim blaming lead to her own suicide, which if people had looked at it as the man who took advantage of hers fault, wouldn’t have happened. Sadly admittedly hindsight is 20/20 but the people in those situations should have listened to her story.

Victim blaming is something that should not even be part of the equation but it happens just remember there are two sides to every story and not to judge things on either side.

From Howie.

Bibliography
N.p., n.d. Web. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/santa-barbara-killer-elliot-rodger-smiled-shooting-survivor/story?id=23923970&gt;.
N.p., n.d. Web. <http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/16/the-tragic-case-of-amanda-todd/&gt;

Ivybelle Opinion Piece on Self Harm

Self-Harm is a very touchy subject to a lot of people. It has been around for years and yet people don’t really understand why people do it or don’t really understand that there is more than one type of self-harm. There’s mutilation, burning, too much food or not enough, there’s drugs/alcohol, there’s lack of sleep or too much, and many more. A person doesn’t always realize what they do to themselves. People who starve themselves or have lack of sleep don’t realize that they are harming themselves because they think it’s a normal thing and that it doesn’t hurt their body.

The first thing people thing a person will think when mentioning “Self-Harm” is cutting or burning themselves. Self-Harm can not only be caused by a mental issue but also from bullying, harassment, Abuse, etc.. It can really push someone into harming themselves. Self-Harm is something that I know very well. I myself have struggled with it for years, mine was a combined of different harms including; mutilation, lack of sleep, lack of food and at some point I wanted to turn to burning myself. Not a lot of people knew because I didn’t want anyone to know. I was scared that they would tell my mom or they would make fun of me or send me into a hospital.

The first time I ever tried self-harm I was 10. When I was 10 years old, I got bullied really badly. I got called every name in the book, physically abused, people made fun of me because my mom was deaf and a girl started a petition of who wanted me dead. Eventually I started starving myself. Not only because I was being called ugly and fat, but because my mom was poor and couldn’t always afford to buy food. I stopped eating and I was afraid to tell anyone about the situations I was going through.

In gym class one day I blacked out and the gym teachers didn’t do anything. I thought to myself maybe no one actually cares about me after all. At that moment I didn’t really want to live anymore. With the years I just got the habit of starving myself without realizing that I was actually self-harming myself. I thought it was normal I didn’t think I was harming myself. When I was younger, sleep was not something that I would allow myself at times. The abuse I went through since I was 5 caused me to be paranoid and cause a serious trauma. I would stay awake for weeks and I would start having physical pain. Like cramps, headaches, my eyes would hurt, I was emotionally drained and eventually it didn’t matter anymore because I allowed my body to suffer because of my fear. With time, I didn’t have to force myself to stay up anymore and I wouldn’t get any physical pain because I got used to it. I didn’t realize the damage I was causing to my body.

In high school I was finally told by an old friend told me that cutting was a way for her to release pain and it felt good. I tried it and that’s what I turned to… I did it for many reasons. One of them was to focus my pain physically and forget the pain emotionally. I hated the feeling of pain. So instead I would focus on the physical pain because it was only temporary. Another reason as well, was because I felt ugly. I was bullied for years and people would always call me ugly, fat, useless, they said that nobody loved me even my mom. Eventually I believe it. Self-Harm was a way for me to express how I felt on the inside to match the outside. Another reason was that I became addicted to the pain. The pain felt good, It made me feel alive again.

When go through a lot of emotional pain and bottle it up, you eventually become numb. It’s like it becomes too much mentally and emotionally and you forget that you are even alive because eventually you don’t feel the pain of cutting or burning or any other type of self-harm. After cutting wasn’t enough for me, I wanted so badly to try burning myself. I came close to doing it until I got caught by a friend and gave me a speech about how self-harm wasn’t the way to deal with situations. At that point, bullying wasn’t the only problem. There was family issues as well. But then I thought to myself maybe I should just stick to cutting along with the other things I was doing to myself. See, even though people tell you to not harm yourself, it’s something that is not easy to stop.

Often you think to yourself that no one understands your pain, that they don’t really care about you, that they say it out of pity or that they would feel responsible if something happened to you. You think that you are alone, that you will never get through your problems that the easiest way to deal with it is self-harm to the point that you kill yourself or even become numb. Sometimes you would like to wear a t-shirt or shorts but you can’t because you don’t want people to judge you on the battle wounds you have or you feel too ugly because of the scars, yet you can’t seem to stop. It’s a way to relief yourself, a “home”, an addiction, your therapy.

A lot of people won’t understand why you do it. And really, it’s not something that’s easy to explain unless you go through it. Often people who self-harm are being called weak, stupid and even “useless”. I’ve heard that one many times,but it’s not. People who self-harm are a lot stronger than people think. They go through a lot and don’t know how to deal with it. It’s so easy to be judged. Not everyone has the courage to take a blade, knife, razor, etc… To their skin without thinking without crying and doing it over and over again.

Often people tells us that we are attention-whores, or we are a sad excuse. Sometimes were are just looking for people to pity us. That would wouldn’t be harming ourselves if we really wanted to end ourselves. However sometimes, people who starve/over eat, use drugs/alcohol, etc… Don’t realize they are harming themselves, so how can they be looking for attention- not everyone has money to get therapy. A lot of doctors would say that you need medication or therapy, but honestly, we don’t need therapy or medication to make us feel crazy. We need someone to give us a hug and tell us we will be okay and that we aren’t crazy. We need a true friend who won’t betray us, and no one wants to be a medication because they just think we are crazy and that medication will make people stop harming themselves.

Self-harm is a very vulnerable thing to admit and to talk about. Schools don’t really talk about it anymore. People choose to close their eyes instead of getting them some help. More and more people are turning to those releases because it’s the only thing that can make them feel free in a way. Today’s society is making us more and more depressed because of the standards or being “beautiful“ or  making us so stressed out that we feel like there is no way out. Today, I still struggling with self-harm. I’ve stopped for a couple years and every day is another day that I am struggling to not get into it again. It’s not easy. When I see a knife, the temptation is there. There’s morning and lunches that I skip eating and there are days that I force myself to stay up. It’s a battle that I keep fighting but I tell myself that I have to stay strong.

So remember people, stay strong. You are beautiful and it does get better. Don’t be afraid to get help. You are not crazy, you are just going through pain that is overwhelming and hard to deal with. You will get through it. Stay strong. Stay Beautiful. – Ivybelle – Xx