THE BLOG

Chrissie Hynde, It Was Not Your Fault

02/09/2015 13:01 | Updated 02 September 2016

There have been plenty of opinions about Chrissie Hynde's recent comments about her own sexual abuse. Before we move on, let us not forget she has been a victim of rape; her comments are how she feels about what happened to her, not fact. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse the chances are you will have felt and battled with self-blame, the same as Chrissie still is now - and so did I.

This is very normal.

The most common question in sexual assault is "Was it my fault?"

There are no actions anyone can ever take that make sexual abuse permissible. The offender is always responsible for their actions.

What we should be looking at, is why "was it my fault?" is the most common question and how we change this.

We don't condemn the guy who walked down the street at night, drunk, who happens get badly beaten up. "He shouldn't have got drunk, he shouldn't have walked down the street at night. He was asking to be beaten up!" So why do we condemn the victim in crime's of sexual abuse?

To be fair in 1972, when Chrissie was raped, the majority reaction in the culture at that time would have been to blame her. Just imagine the response she would have got walking into a police station back then. Rape crisis centers didn't even exist in this country and sexual abuse most certainly wasn't on the public agenda.

I felt it was hugely important to write this, after reading some extremely disturbing comments about sexual abuse and clear a few things up which seem to reflect the out dated attitudes of 1972. Don't you think we should have moved on as culture by now?

It doesn't matter what you are wearing, whether you are drunk or not, if a perpetrator is going to rape you they will. They don't care whether you are wearing a skirt or baggy trousers or whether you are drunk or sober.

Sexual abuse is not caused by the perpetrators uncontrollable sexual urge like many people still seem to think.

Sexual abuse is an act of power and control, not sex. Most people have sexual desires, but they don't rape.

Rape myths have survived for a long time to make us feel safe so that we can say "it won't happen to me because I am not going to behave or dress like that woman, so I won't get raped."

We can second-guess our actions all we want but the bottom line is we wouldn't be sexually abused if our abuser had respected us and not committed the crime. The fault lies there. No one has the right to rape us no matter what we are wearing or behaving like.

Whilst we put the emphasis on women to behave differently in order not to be sexually abused, we are giving an excuse to perpetrators to commit the crime of rape.

Sexual abuse happens to both men and women. It is not an issue of feminism, gender or any other label people seem to like putting on it. It is human right's issue. No one has the right to perpetrate abuse against another. No one has the right to rape you.

To say that men can't control their sexual urges if they see a woman in a skirt or drunk is deeply offensive to men and doing the majority of men out there a massive disservice.

We can continue telling women not to drink, to dress conservatively and not trust men but it won't, and hasn't, made the slightest bit of difference to the issue of rape.

Victims say no and they still get raped. So do you not think it is about time we change tactic?

A victim of sexual abuse is extremely vulnerable after the horrific violation of their body, yet we expect them to take action in a culture that still debates whether they were responsible. How messed up is that?!