Blaming Victims of Violence is an Act of Violence

Victim blaming is an act of violence, no matter what form it takes. Say you're in a parking garage late at night, leaving an event, and someone - man or woman, doesn't matter - is being assaulted. Do you step in, try to protect them, call security or scream for help, or do you pretend not to see it, leave and blame the victim for not being able to defend themselves? And when they finally speak out about it, confide in you thinking you'll take their side and support them in their pain and shame, you blame them further for not speaking out when you thought they should have.

Is there a time-table on being able to admit you were raped or assaulted or molested now? A shelf life? A statute of limitations on when someone who is violated can talk about it publicly? When did that happen? And who are we to judge them? Is what they did a crime? How are they at fault? For wearing short dresses, tight pants, being too pretty, being actors with breasts, having ambition, having dreams, being afraid? Is that the price they pay and if they don't talk about it when you think they should their pain and suffering is null and void? Their claims invalidated because they didn't beat the fucking clock? Or fight back the way you think they should? Blaming the victim of crimes of violence has to stop. It's a form of abuse.

And no, high profile actors who are victims of Weinstein shouldn't have "lead the charge" against him. The people that worked with him, who knew what he was doing, should have. Why should it be up to the victims, because they were the first, second, third? How do you know? Because they're "high profile"? Ever stop to think they didn't come forward because they ARE famous and were ashamed their light was put out and wanted to never admit it happened and felt that people would say they were lying? Jesus, people. I'd say it's unbelievable but it's not, it's how people have been conditioned: to blame the victims. It's as prevalent as predation and every bit as wrong.

Does fear of reprisal mean nothing? It's everywhere, in every walk of life, every business, every home. How can it be considered any different in the motion picture industry, where actors fear for their careers if they even bad mouth a rude casting director, call SAG about a safety violation, or for standing up for themselves on the set against an abusive director or for simply asking to be treated with respect?

So a young actor is raped or groped in a dressing room or a meeting with a producer and they're in the wrong? Fuck that. It's those who shame them who are wrong, those who question their motives or veracity. They're the worst, as far as I'm concerned, right up there with those who assaulted them. Those who shame victims of predation are every bit as much the predator as the perpetrator.

Remember this every time you see the sexual predator and pseudo-POTUS Tweet out a threat and character assassination or the history of threats and power-abuses Weinstein is known for and has been for years. When you, or someone you know, says or thinks, he or she "slept their way to the top," you are either encouraging or ignoring a blood-sport and the plight of the victim in favor of a cheap laugh or cliché.

If you've never been sexually harassed, abused or raped, know that these are not sex crimes, these are crimes of violence. The wounds take years to heal, and sometimes never do. The dreams that we came into this business, any business, this LIFE! with can be irreparably destroyed and the victim's well-being and self-esteem ravaged beyond reckoning. The tendency is to not believe the victim, for numerous inexplicable and pathological reasons, but I propose we change the way we see it. It's way past time to not only treat others how to treat ourselves, but to also teach each other how to treat others.

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