It Is Not Your Fault

Sexual Assault and Sexual harassment is normally perpetrated by cowards who have a position of control or authority over their victim. They do these acts in private and there is an expectation that the victim will not report it. Most victims do not report these acts for different reasons and not the reasons that the perpetrator likes to believe. They like to believe that the victim was giving off some hidden cues that only they could pick up on. The perpetrator likes to believe that the victim wanted it to happen and that they enjoyed it. There can be many different reason that a person may not report sexual assault or harassment and it has nothing to with what the perpetrator believes.

Some victims do not report out of fear. The fear could be because of who the person is, like a boss or someone that has some type of power over the victim’s future. The fear of being victimized again. They may have even been threatened. Then there is the fear of others finding out what happened. With that, comes the fear of explaining to family, friends, co-workers and significant others. The fear of these people not understanding what happened. The fear of being blamed. The fear of not being believed. Believe it or not, the victim is afraid of what is going to happen to the perpetrator if everything comes out.

Some victims don’t report out of embarrassment. Embarrassment is mostly felt by individuals that are viewed as strong. They may feel embarrassed because they ‘allowed’ it to happen. Embarrassed because it happened to them. Some victims don’t report out of shame. They feel ashamed of what occurred and don’t want others to know. Some victims do not report out of guilt. They may feel they have done something to deserve what has happened. They, in a way, feel that it was their fault. This is the furthest from the truth, but it is mostly how the victim feels. To any victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. It is not your fault that someone chose to violate you. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Also, most victims do not like being called a victim, even though the definition fits. With all of the public attention being brought upon this issue and the rebirth of the #metoo campaign created by Tarana Burke, many people are speaking up and speaking out. This is a great thing as it has given many the courage to tell their story. What it has also done, is open up some wounds for many. Not every person is ready to share. Not every person wants to hear all of the stories because it could trigger them and take them back to that place and time when they were assaulted. Everyone heals and works through things in their own way, time and space. Where many have trouble is when they try to repress, push back and ‘get over’ what happened to them. You don’t just ‘get over’ something like this. You should work through it in order to be okay on the other side. Sometimes sharing in a safe place helps or at least it’s a start. Many times, sharing your story is not enough. For that reason, I have created a Life Coaching Workshop for people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. I created this workshop to help those that may need assistance with working through this issue. We will not just share stories, but solutions. If you are in the NC area and would like to join my workshop, feel free to contact me. If you would like for me to come to your area for workshops, contact me. As always, I recommend you get some help on this path, and if not with me, see someone that you feel can help you.

And remember, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!

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Adrienne Charleston: Counseling and Coaching

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