Unfortunately, on a daily basis, the Victim Service Center team encounters victim blaming. One challenge we face as the voice of the victims we serve, is having individuals in our community really understand that it is NEVER the fault of a victim when a sexual assault occurs.
Recently in the media, a story which now has garnered national attention, involved a judge publicly scolding a victim of domestic violence, going as far as to sentence her to jail for not showing up to face her abuser. This is yet another classic example of victim blaming.
A sexual assault victim may feel many varying emotions following a sexual assault which may include shame, guilt, fear and embarrassment. Oftentimes, the result of these emotions will actually prevent a victim from coming forward. We hear victims all of the time say, “I could have done something differently” or “I could have prevented this.” However, the truth is: the victim never causes the assault and is never to blame- the perpetrator makes a conscious decision to attack the victim.
At the Victim Service Center, we strive every day to educate our community and fight for the victims we serve. We will continue to generate awareness for this issue and will continue to be a voice for the 1 in 5 women and the 1 in 33 men that are victims of sexual assault.
We hope you will join us as we continue to educate residents, stand in support of the victims we serve, and create a safe and healthy community in Central Florida. As always, we thank you for your on-going support. We look forward to continuing to grow our programs, services, outreach efforts, and be a beacon of hope and healing.