SIJU YUSUF : ‘WHAT WERE YOU WEARING?’

SIJU YUSUF : 'WHAT WERE YOU WEARING?'
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This seem to be the ready question asked a sexual harassment or rape victim by his/her audience, regardless of whether they are of the same or opposite sex. As awkward as it may sound, this question is often from people of the same sex as the victim. Aren’t they supposed to demonstrate more empathy?

Is this in the bid to confirm known statistics (which have undeniable high tones of ‘agenda setting’)of harassment as a result of indecent dressing or in a callous/insensitive bid to justify the acts of the abuser?

Whatever the case, this question shouldn’t be our default when we encounter victims. The experiences are too horrible to then, again, be asked, if they asked for it. Will it make any difference on your sense of judgement or your humanity/morality should the victim have dressed indecently? *Indecent dressing being subjective. Our definitions of this varies vastly and are often influenced by levels of exposure*. 

I digress.

What a victim, who has damned all consequences to share his/her story begs of us is empathy, love, acceptance, reassurance and support through the dark and lonely paths of healing. 

Avoid asking questions that suggest you question the genuineness of her story and screams ‘you got what you deserved’. If you can’t be supportive, don’t bother. Maybe, ‘choke’ on your questions? (Figuratively). 

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