Survivors of sexual abuse and assault have a very difficult road to travel. There are a lot of misconceptions in society when it comes to placing guilt on the victim and understanding what exactly being a survivor entails. While there has been an increase in sexual abuse awareness recently in the media there are still people out there who need to be educated.
Not At Fault would like to help raise awareness about the ways in which guilt can damage a persons life. It is up to all of us to stop the victim blaming and make a stand. We need to tell survivors that what happened was not their fault.
Misplaced guilt can cause severe emotional trauma for a survivor and sometimes leads to years of harmful behavior. The weight of guilt alone can be enough to cause survivors to use any method at hand to make it lessen. All to rarely is therapy and group support used as a way of moving through the guilt associated with abuse. Often self-harmful behaviors are adopted as a way of coping.
Guilt is primarily about control. If a survivor feels guilt over their abuse, if they can tell themselves “I should have, could have, might have, and this would have never happened" that gives them a bit of control over a situation in which they had none. The very definition of abuse leaves no doubt that the survivor had no control of the situation and that can be a very scary fact to face. It is easier to adopt guilt and deep shame to deal with the trauma, but that is unhealthy and ultimately damaging.
This is our message to everyone who has ever been abused. It was not your fault. You are not to blame for the actions of your abuser and there is no reason to feel guilty. You have support here at Not At Fault and there are many different formats that support can take. You deserve to shed that misplaced guilt. You are loved and you are not at fault.
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