13 Ways the Community Protects/Enables Rapists and Silences/Shames Survivors


I was just reading the Dylan Farrow’s incredibly brave open letter in the NYT about Woody Allen’s predatory behavior when she was growing up. Seeing the “backlash” against this article has got me thinking again about all the ways that individuals and communities silence and shame survivors, protect and enable perpetrators, and in doing so further participate in and perpetuate the actual sexual violence that occurred as well as systemic cultures of sexual violence (rape culture).

Since most sexual violence does not occur between strangers, public accounts of abuse and assaults often affect whole families/communities, most of whom handle it incredibly poorly in terms of support/healing for survivors. Much of this I have also experienced first hand since I started talking publicly about a former “dominant” raping me.

Let me count some of the ways:

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