The Relationship Between Sexual Abuse With Shame And Blame

I learned to victim-blame myself along the way, but no longer will

Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness
Published in
6 min readOct 19, 2021

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Blaming a human for experiencing any type of abuse, especially sexual abuse, exacerbates the shame that remains after surviving these traumas.

The story goes that we must have triggered an abusive behavior or that we didn’t escape it efficiently. We “should have known better” or should have done something different.

With victim-blaming, the first accusation is about prevention. If only we could have done a better job preventing and avoiding our abuse. Did we provoke it? Did we go somewhere that flashed big, red danger signs yet willfully ignored the warning?

The second accusation is criticism regarding ending or escaping the abuse. If only we had done more to stop it, escape it, disable it. If only we would have screamed louder for help, said “no” more firmly, or ran faster.

Victim-blaming can come from other people looking in, and often it comes from our own selves, directed back inward. We torture ourselves further within the confines of our own minds, continuing the trauma in the aftermath.

When people blame the survivors of assault and sexual abuse for what happened, it is often without awareness, prompted…

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Scarlett Jess Perrodin
Invisible Illness

Mental health advocate, abuse escape artist, maternal aura, and comic. Personal stories. Some hints of humor. A diamond in the rough is still a diamond.