Pledge to Tell Survivors: “It’s Not Your Fault”

I pledge to Tell Survivors: “It’s Not Your Fault”

We invite you to take this pledge to share a message of strength and support to those who have been a victim of any form of intimate partner violence.

Unfortunately, survivors of intimate partner violence are so often are judged and stigmatized in our society.  This pledge is for every victim and survivor of an abusive relationship who has been told that she or he is to blame for that abuse. 

Who tells victims and survivors that it's their fault? 

Sadly, the blame can come from every possible direction, as we have learned through our research on the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence. The quotes below from our research are examples of the many ways that survivors can be blamed for their own victimization.

Perpetrators often blame their victims for their abusive behaviors:

  • "I was always the one blamed for anything that happened. Any fights or arguments always stemmed from something that I did."
  • "I was blamed by husband for his abusive behavior and his affairs.  He made me believe that if I was 'better' in some way, he would treat me better."

When survivors reach out for help from family and friends, they face blame and judgment from others in their social networks:

  • "I experienced blame by others stating that staying was my fault or that my not 'fighting back' somehow made me responsible."
  • "My ex's family always blamed me for his behaviour and some of my relatives also."

Some survivors even are blamed by some of the professionals they turn to for help:

  • "CPS told me I was as much to blame as my ex in the violence against me and my kids as long as I stayed in the house."
  • "My attorney in the same said court case was very non-helpful during the experience. It was as if he blamed me for my situation, not my second husband. It was terribly frustrating!"

This blame can become internalized, meaning that survivors come to believe that they themselves are to blame and deserve to be treated in abusive ways:

  • "I felt it was my fault and that for abuse to stop all I had to do was not do things partner didn't like. At the time I felt if I listened more that I would get abused less."
  • "I blame myself for bringing him into our lives."
  • "I felt to blame because I couldn't be the woman he wanted me to be."

Because this sense of blame can be so pervasive, we all need to work together to send a clear and strong message to survivors that the abuse is not their fault, and that their perpetrators bear full responsibility for their use of abusive and controlling behaviors. 

We must raise our voices to say in no uncertain terms that there is nothing that any person ever does to deserve to be abused.

This pledge is one way to start to send that message. Our goal is to collect thousands of pledges, with the hopes that those numbers will show victims and survivors that they have the support of a caring community of people who do not blame them for being abused.

Imagine the impact that this pledge could have for a survivor who has been told daily that it's all their fault...if only they would _____(fill in the blank)_____, they wouldn't be treated this way. Imagine what it would mean to that survivor to know that there are thousands of people standing behind them, saying, "It's not your fault."

We will continue to spread this message through the See the Triumph Campaign and through our partners the Stop Abuse Campaign. Please join us by taking this pledge and sending your message to survivors of intimate partner violence.

"It's not your fault"

Thank you for all you are doing to triumph over the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence!

Christine and Allison

Co-Founders, See the Triumph

Join us on Facebook for more information on the stigma surrounding intimate partner violence!

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