SOCIAL media platforms play a crucial role in communication and freedom of expression. In recent times, mixed views have been observed on the social media and the most recurring theme among them is victim-blaming. The lack of compassion towards the victims aggravates their mental ailment, making them believe that it was somehow their fault, which for sure is not the case.

The victimised mind is different from a healthy one. The latter flourishes, while the former fights for survival. Abusers are not aliens. They live around us, among us, with us. It is the responsibility of the parents to screen out any extremist trait in their children and take remedial steps early. We need to play a pivotal role at a personal level, calling out any abnormal behaviour among our families, friends and colleagues.

As responsible individuals of society, we need to be there for the victims. The traumatic minds are fragile and need to be handled with utmost care. We must be considerate with the words we use because they can imprint a perpetual impression on the mind of the victim.

Everyone is fighting a battle and we must not belittle anyone’s experience. If a victim reaches out to you, it takes some doing. Debating with a victim will not only take an emotional toll on her, but will actually push her into the dark abyss of despondency. Lack of empathy only ends up glorifying the abuse.

Psychological researchers say that when a victim talks about her trauma, she lives through the pain all over again. Undoubtedly, words and assurances will not change the reality, but they have the power to make a difference. Scared hearts and wounded souls cling onto the feeble dangling hope generated by empathetic behaviour. When we turn a blind eye to brutality, we fail as human beings.

We all can play our part in making this world a better, safer place for one and all. Blaming the victim is surely not the way to move ahead on that path.

Laraib Akram
Multan

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2021

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