Perhaps the atmosphere sometimes changes so that victims do not have to fear the consequences of speaking, but the consequences of the actions of the perpetrators, writes Ronja Salmi.
Instagram The @punkstoo account put a new gear in the eye of the Finnish meto-change. Messages from anonymous account reported sexual harassment and violence in the punk community, where tolerance has been a superficially recognized value.
The culture of rape, that is, the atmosphere in which the sexual violence experienced by women is downplayed, extends everywhere in society. Since then, messages posted to the account have been deleted and new accounts have also appeared in the spirit of @punkstoon related to various fields of music and art.
Arguments against the accounts have been old familiar. What are the motives behind the publications? What are the principles of accounts? Is justice now being distributed on the basis of rumors?
Self I see anonymous accounts as a symptom of a culture where victims of sexual violence continue to be blamed.
Reporting the abuse remains risky and potentially further complicates the victim’s life. Anonymity is a straw that is grabbed when there are no other possibilities.
It is sad that victims ’credit to the authorities, the judiciary, and even journalism is so weak that the most reliable way to tell their own experience can be found in an anonymous sometime.
Unfortunately, it is possible that by reporting their traumatic experiences, victims have also committed defamation, which is a lewd example of how a man’s honor is still more important than a woman’s physical integrity.
So far, the accounts have not complied with journalistic principles, so they are also not covered by the source protection of journalists. This can be a difficult situation for account administrators if they, as publishers, are held accountable for the content of their accounts.
Just the anonymity of the senders of accounts and messages is one of the most criticized. But if it were easy to tell on the face, everyone would tell. If face-to-face telling was right, everyone would tell.
That is not yet the case.
If you openly report sexual harassment or violence, you still run the risk of not believing the story. Attempts may be made to distort or question the experience. The “investigation” of the matter is often left to the victim because outsiders are reluctant to interfere in the affairs of others or choose sides.
At worst, the victim finds himself in the role of a supporter. The news upsets those who hear about it, and the victim comforts them, like incurable cancer-suffering friends. No wonder not all the terminally ill want to report their condition.
The narration itself is already often heavy, and may force related memories to the surface. Their memories cannot be managed. Understandably, you don’t want to spend extra time with the worst. There are also cases in the public where a court-convicted perpetrator may continue to pursue his or her profession. Nor is it really an incentive to share one’s own experiences.
Narration does not guarantee justice, nor does justice guarantee consequences.
Is also jobs and situations where it is particularly difficult to intervene and tell. A part-time worker or freelancer who is mistreated by a gatekeeper cannot easily tell of his experience. The forerunner to whom abuse should be reported is the one who should report it.
At the same time, customer service work where people have to be comfortable and buy will be disrupted. The threshold for intervention is particularly high if the sexual violence is perpetrated by a family member, spouse or friend.
Everyone can think about how difficult it would be to file a crime report about their own partner or admiration. Would it be easy for you to tell about a grandparent, or a charmer with a bunch of friends? According to experts, the perpetrator of sexual violence is most often already known to the victim. Trust is one means by which the perpetrator can get close to the victim. Due to social ties and a common community, it is especially difficult to take the matter to the authorities.
For this reason, most sexual offenses go unreported. The full picture of sexual crime does not yet appear in the statistics.
If it were easy to tell, everyone would tell.
Every can make a difference. We can believe the victims and stop blaming them. We can thank those who tell, and understand those who have been sexually abused who do not want to share what they have experienced.
No one has a duty to report their trauma, let alone take the matter to the district court. We cannot demand specific behavior or action from victims because they have not chosen to be victims.
Despite the risks of narration, speaking has a healing effect. Silence does not promote recovery. It’s great that some of the pressures of narration are alleviated by anonymity. Perhaps the atmosphere sometimes still changes in such a way that victims do not have to fear the consequences of speaking, but the consequences of the actions of the perpetrators.
The author is a freelance journalist and the program director of the Helsinki Book Fair.