The Problem With Blaming Victims of Abuse

The Problem With Blaming Victims of Abuse

A close-up image of a fist in black and white.

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!

I will be clear about my position early in this short writing:


I don’t care how much they are enabled. Enticed. Provoked. Needled. Wheedled. Stressed in daily life. Tempted. Whatever.

They make a choice to do the wrong thing in response.

Or, to put it another way:

“Lie to me.”


See? There is always a choice, even when something is demanded. We know this choice instinctively.

If someone asked us to cut off their hand with a rusty ax for a lark, we would say no, because we are not the kind of people who would do that, and we know that if we did something like that it would be wrong, no matter how the victim enabled us.

And it would be OUR fault if we did that horrible thing, even though they encouraged it.

As it should be.

Because we know right from wrong.

I’ve always felt that the people who try to shift abuse to the victims do so out of fear.

  1. Fear that it will happen to them, and the idea that if they can just not do what the victim did, they can avoid it.
  2. Fear that they will get caught doing something similar, and they hope that the blame will be shifted from them in the same way.
  3. Fear that the actions of the abuser will reflect on them or something they hold dear (I’m looking at you, Catholic church!).


Just ugh.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

More Posts

Languages Of Self-Love

So, we talk a lot about love languages in discussing how we can treat our partners and friends, even kids. However, I saw a meme

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.