(Photo by Braylen Garren)

Editorial: It’s not your fault

Understanding where the blame lies

February 28, 2023

Abuse comes in many forms, some that a majority of people do not recognize. Abuse does not discriminate against rich and poor or Black and white. 

In situations like grooming, the question of “why is this happening to me” is one victims often ask themselves. Society would say “you brought it on yourself,” so many victims choose to keep quiet on the topic and just believe that idea. What people don’t realize is that until the conversation is normalized, victims will never be able to place blame where blame is due. 

For kids, there has always been this negative wall surrounding the idea of being a victim of grooming or any kind of assault for that matter. People are told not to talk about it because it could ruin opportunities for themselves and that no one will believe them because they are only children, but why should a victim be the one to face the repercussions of these situations?  

To this day, a lot of people don’t really even know what grooming is and just how subtle it can be. Predators often use whatever upper hand they have to gradually weave sexual ideas into an otherwise normal conversation until it then becomes the new norm.

Predators use the power of whatever position they hold in order to gaslight a victim into believing in the relationship which is built entirely of lies. 

It happens right under the noses of loved ones, and that just goes to show the manipulative skill of people who groom children. 

These predators have a way of convincing their victims to do things they wouldn’t normally agree to. This is why victims find it hard to not place blame on themselves. 

They often feel that since they said yes, they gave their predator the ability to take advantage of them. In reality, these people just have a twisted way of getting one to let their guard down in order for them to take advantage.

Once a predator gets what they want, the victim is left to pick up the pieces of whatever “relationship” the two had and self assess the truth of what really was happening. 

Many victims would admit to feeling serious connections with these people, and what’s not talked about enough is that many victims would even admit to genuinely caring for these people; that plays another role in the victim’s inner conflict after the fact as well.

Even more disgusting is that it’s not just teachers or family friends, but family members as well. Considering no one would expect them, these predators use the fact that they are family to their benefit. 

What people and victims should take away from all this is the very apparent point that predators of children will do whatever it takes to get what they want. 

From the deceitful lies to gaslighting, no matter how a victim may respond to these tactics is never their fault. The way a predator manipulates his/her victim and makes them believe it is their own fault and that there is nothing they can do about it, oftentimes, trapping the victim in a place of loneliness and self deprivation.

After coming to the realization of the situation, victims are often very dismissing of the idea that they had nothing to do with what was going on. However, if we as society could learn the type of support victims need in these times, they could  feel less blame, making it easier for victims in the future as well. 

Regardless of the situation, society must change in favor of victims for these people to truly never question whether it is their fault or not. 

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