It is always fascinating when people who are not survivors or involved in victim services or survivor advocacy work have weird fixations with shit they couldn’t possibly understand – usually because they don’t really care enough to try. Often, this is because they believe in rape myths, suffer from Low Information Excuses Syndrome, and do not understand that a traumatized person does not react to situations the same as someone who has not had such an experience.
A traumatized victim may be in denial about what happened to them, do things that on their face seem to make no sense when viewed logically, continue to be involved with an abuser out of necessity or for career/employment purposes, or even shut down about everything that happened all together.
More often, the person asking questions about “why did they…” is just looking for an excuse to victim-blame, shame or call us liars. One such person emailed me today in response to my letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Why did constand keep returning to the Cosby house for six months after? I don’t know of any rape victims who go out of their way to spend time with the attacker.
PLEASE NOTE NEW PHYSICAL ADDRESS
Sent from my iPad
First, that would be none of your business where she went or why as you are not representing her or Cosby. What, are you planning to stalk her now and cause her trouble? Do I need to report you to the police or the bar association?
I will be sure to pass your “expertise” on all matters regarding sexual violence to the appropriate parties.
Meanwhile, there are understaffed, underfunded and struggling rape crisis centers all over the country who could certainly use your alleged expertise and cash.
Once you’ve completed the appropriate rape crisis and victim services training and logged seven thousand hours or so working with victims outside of a legal environment, get back to me again about your feelings on this case.
I actually work with survivors as a profession. This is real life to me.
Until then, have a great day.