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Blaming an adult survivor for their childhood sexual abuse is WRONG!
on September 8, 2007
Overall, Byron Katie's message and life work is about taking responsibility, beginning with self-inquiry. So I enthusiastically read and listened to her work. However, I was MORTIFIED when in middle of listening to Disk 6, an adult woman was crying so bitterly about her step-father raping her as a little girl, on her birthday. Byron then guides the adult survivor to say/repeat after her, that SHE was the one who did not love her step-father, despite the horrific, heartbreaking details this adult survivor just revealed. She told this young woman who could not stop crying, on stage and in front of a public audience, being recorded, that she was to BLAME for her abuse, because she was not "loving" to her perpetrators when she pushed him away/did not hug or kiss him as he raped her in the car, while on his lap. She was between the ages of 5-7. See for yourself on Disk 6. This made my stomach turn, as this is abhorrent, WRONG, and part of "blame the victim" mentality. The guilt, shame, and responsibility of sexually abusing children is ALWAYS on the shoulders of the perpetrators - never ever should it be on the child. The child is weak. The adult is powerful. EVEN if the child "allowed" themselves to be raped for "love" - this is rape. Children who are in these situations have to comply or risk the unknown consequences. This is not "allowing" anything - it is survival. Sexual perpetrators use the manipulative move of "projecting" their own self-hatred, shame, and blame on the victim, so they themselves don't have to feel it. Anyone that is aware of anything I just mentioned, and is genuinely compassionate, would NEVER blame a child for their own rape.
Byron is not a competent, licensed mental health practitioner, properly trained and qualified to handle sexual trauma as it is awakened in a survivor. She took 4 questions, and made it her mission to spread the word about self-responsibility and self-inquiry. That is fine. Just don't talk about a very delicate subject you are not properly trained and educated to handle. She should do the right thing, and pull this product from the market, since it is painfully misleading. Sexual abuse survivors blame themselves: for what happened, for not being able to stop it, and for all the failures and weakness they feel stems for this. Imagine a survivor who does not have the ego strength, education, or resources to know differently, and they listen to this. Do you think this survivor needs any MORE guilt, blame, or self-rejection?
In my book: "Trauma and Transformation: A 12-Step Guide", I fully explore the spiritual side-effects of trauma, and how the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is a powerful systematic approach for the trauma survivor seeking a spiritual solution.
-Rivka Edery, L.M.S.W
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