“They were treating the victim like a criminal,” she said. “It was really like living in hell. If it hadn’t happened to me—if someone else told me this story—I’d think it wasn’t true.”
That is a quote from the mother of a high school rape victim after the school took discipline action against both her daughter and the accused rapist. It is an old story, blame the victim. The Catholic Church did it, the public school system does it, the military does it, here we are on the verge of 2014 and ‘blame the victim’ mentality is still alive and well.
“It was really like living in hell. If it hadn’t happened to me—if someone else told me this story—I’d think it wasn’t true.” How many abuse survivors have lived this hell? As a priest I see many people who claim that they believe in God but then act in the polar-opposite way of God. Christians are so fond of saying, “God is love.”, but their isn’t love for sex abuse survivor, for rape victims, for other abuse survivors. In my humble opinion real love is a hunger for justice too.
As Christians, as a people who should embrace the love that God has for all of his creatures, we also have to see the abusers through the eyes of love. (Not an easy task) But we can never forget that justice is a part of that love. Love is not creating an atmosphere where victims have to endure like living in hell.