Saturday, December 6, 2014

Here Is How I Am A Bad Sexual Assault Victim

Excerpt from article "Here Is How I Am a Bad Sexual Assault Victim" by Maya Inamura found at:
"I am not a good victim of sexual assault. My assailant was not a stranger: We were on a date. I let him into my apartment and he eventually assaulted me there. After he left, he texted me saying that he had a great time and hoped to see me again soon. If you asked him today, I bet he’d tell you he was a modest, sweet, upstanding guy who had never assaulted or raped anyone. He even identified as a feminist.
A good victim is one who did nothing to “ask for it.” A good victim does not know her assailant, is not around him willingly, isn’t sexually active, isn’t dressed provocatively, and isn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She makes it clear that the assault is not consensual, immediately reports it to the authorities, and cooperates with the investigation. No one can find fault with a good victim, because the good victim did everything in her power, and more, to prevent the assault from happening. The fault, therefore, can only lie with the assailant.
I’m a bad victim for a number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that I didn’t even immediately process that what was happening to me was sexual assault: I turned numb, unable to think or react, and stayed that way for several days afterward. My sympathetic nervous system — the “fight-or-flight” response — chose the third, lesser-known option of “freezing.” Most likely because of that, I think, my memory of the events before and after my assault is hazy, though I wasn’t drunk at all. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about at the restaurant beforehand, or what route we took to walk to my apartment, or what reason he gave for eventually leaving. I don’t even remember the exact date on which it happened.
These blanks in my memory give others a reason to doubt my story — what if I was just making it all up for attention? — despite the fact that my memory of the assault itself is crystal clear. Because I didn’t do everything right, because there is reason to doubt me, I am not a good victim.
In actuality, the “good victim” is a mythical archetype, simply a yardstick by which all other victims are measured. No one will ever be considered a good victim in our society, because there’s always something one can find for which to fault the victim. Once there’s anything at all to fault the victim for, she and her story lose all credibility and she becomes a bad victim."

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