When trying to help victims of trauma, or misconduct, we often say the first thing that comes to mind. And while we have the best intentions, sometimes, our commentary translates to victim shaming.
This type of advice can often lead the victim back down the road that led them to their trauma, to begin with, and can cause unnecessary feelings of guilt. While we mean to encourage, please be careful not to say the following, as it does more harm than good.
1. Don’t be a victim.
Telling them to not be a victim is like telling them to undo what has happened to them. They can’t help the trauma they have endured.
2. Just forgive.
While it is part of the process of healing, you can’t force a survivor to forgive their attacker.
3. Your evildoer just needed more love.
This places the victim in the position of the attacker. They may place themselves to be at fault with mindsets like this. Be wary of saying things of this nature.
4. You have to let it go.
I promise you, as someone who has endured deep trauma, it isn’t that easy!
5. The evildoer had it very rough as a child.
While they may have, everyone does. Don’t make the evildoer a victim. They decided to replay and relive their own past, and it isn’t the survivor’s fault.
6. Just stay positive.
Positivity is not a cure for negativity. Sorry to burst bubbles here, but telling a trauma survivor to just stay positive is not the ideal way to handle their situation.
7. Why did you allow this to happen?
Victims of misconduct ended up being hurt because of the person that did it, not because of the situations they put themselves in. When you put them in the position of control, you are telling them that they are at fault.