Poetry

Failures

“The worst thing you can do
to a victim of abuse is to tell them
how they’ve failed.”

Sometimes I wonder what happened to human decency. Or maybe it was a fictional, utopian belief that it once existed. Humility as a lost art. Empathy no more than myth. Especially when it comes to victims of abuse, society fails to understand them. Where they have learned the hard way what it means to be stripped of all their power — the power to speak, to fight back, to own anything or act on something — they are broken vessels of their former selves. So when they are finally free and have the opportunity to rebuild their lives, understand that this is a critical time for them. They need support. They need to feel like they matter. That what they feel or say matters. Not to repeat the same horrors. So tell a survivor how strong they are. Tell them they are important. Lift them up. And never tear them down.

The worst thing you can do to a victim of abuse is to tell them how they’ve failed.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

Try telling them what makes them strong.
What they’ve accomplished.
Tell them some more
about how amazing they are.

5 thoughts on “Failures”

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