I was at the curling rink on Friday night and there were some teens there. The youthful energy, enthusiasm, and spirit was a joy to be around. That is, until I overheard part of their conversation at one point in the evening. One of the girls said “That Amanda Todd thing, it was her fault, really.”
I just about fell off my chair.
I am not usually one to eavesdrop, but I could not help myself. I wanted to hear what possible reason this girl could have for thinking this way and making such a statement.
“She posted that picture of herself after all” and later, “she should have pressed charges for the assault” were a couple of her comments. She was blaming the victim. To me, that is like blaming a rape victim for the rape because she was wearing provocative clothing, or blaming a battered child for their beating because they were misbehaving.
I should have walked over to the girl and had a conversation with her and her friends, but I didn’t. I am always advocating standing up against bullying, yet I didn’t say a word. For that, I am ashamed and will look for a way to bring the topic up with her or her parents in the coming days.
Whose Fault Is It?
Should Amanda Todd have posted that picture? No, of course not. But does that give someone the right to blackmail her and spread that picture around? Absolutely not! How many of us can say we have never said something, done something, or posted something online that we later regretted and wished we could take back. Imagine that torment coming from someone when you don't even know who they are. Imagine that mistake coming back to haunt you, over and over again.
Show me someone who says they have never made a mistake, and I will show you a liar.
I see with Amanda Todd the story of a young girl just trying to find her way on the world—trying to be accepted and liked, and putting her trust in the wrong people who lied to her, took advantage of her, blackmailed her, and beat her. Should she have pressed charges against those who beat her up? I think she should have, but I was not in her position at her age and I can only imagine her fear, shame and the feeling of just wanting it all to go away. She was tormented and victimized; no one deserves that and it certainly isn’t their fault.
Victims may have made some mistakes that gave someone else the opportunity or ammunition they need to victimize them, but the fault lies with those who blackmail, ridicule, torment, and bully, not with the victim.
Let me say that again, the fault lies with those who blackmail, ridicule, torment, and bully, not with the victim.
That's my opinion, anyway. What do you think? Leave me your comments below.
For more on this story, check out Maternity Corner.