Stop Survivor Pity

by | Rants & Reactions

If you have not been living in a cave during the past two-or-so weeks, you have probably heard of the Duggar drama. Facebook and Twitter blew up with people on both sides of the issue (Yeh, I know, I don’t even understand how this issue even has more than one side)

Regardless the media onslaught has triggered many issues, one of which I want to discuss now, Survivor Pity.

My gut reaction to the Duggar story was instant fury. If I am completely honest with you, I am still furious and I did engage in the social media debates.  Some of my debates I took off the public eye and I sent a few private messages explaining (defending?) my staunch opinions.  One of the responses I received was,  “I feel sorry for you and what you went through but…”

I didn’t tell my story so that someone could take pity on me. (That person didn’t even know the full story, only that I have been a survivor of assault) You know, what sharing my story is difficult (hence, me writing anonymously). As a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault, I am still working on my healing process. I still cannot count the number of times that I was reminded that my story was personal and embarrassing. Are not ALL stories personal? But why does it have to be embarrassing? It is embarrassing because society keeps telling me that it is embarrassing. It is embarrassing because we have nurtured an environment of stigma around abuse survivors.

This is also what I feel the tragedy of any abuse story – it focuses on the VICTIMIZATION, it dictates to the world how we need to feel badly for the “victim”.  I don’t even know quite how to articulate how much this frustrates me. Of course, I cannot speak for other survivors, but I am not sharing my story because I want pity. I share my story because I want you, dear reader, to get angry.

I want you to get angry at the abuse. I want you to get angry that we live in a society that fosters acceptance and silence in regards to abuse. Get angry at the abuser. Get angry at the court system. Get angry. I do not want your pity.