|You are not the trauma! Traumatic events have a way of inserting themselves into the victim’s identity: being raped by a perpetrator turns an ordinary person into a “rape victim.” Because traumatic events are so intense, victims often begin to view the world and the people around them through the lens of the trauma.
Instead of labeling the perpetration as bad, they view themselves as bad; instead of identifying the perpetrator as dangerous, they perceive people in general as dangerous; instead of recognizing the trauma as only a part of their personal history, the trauma engulfs much of their entire world. The focus shifts from the perpetrator to the victim. These distorted perceptions give support to poor self-esteem, social isolation, demoralization, and the loss of meaning in life.
It is therefore important to remember that the perpetrator is the author of the traumatic event: in this sense it is their event, not the victim’s. The damage done is therefore the responsibility of the perpetrator! Shifting the focus back onto the perpetrator helps free the victim to pursue their life without the burden of carrying the negative consequences of the traumatic event on their shoulders. This is how a victim transforms themselves into a survivor, a triumph worth pursuing!