I am writing this because as a survivor of abuse I have had bullshit ‘forgiveness’ culture shoved down my throat all week. This bullshit plagues abuse survivors 24/7. We are told if we don’t forgive we will never heal, we will hold bitterness within us etc etc. We are hounded with these emotionally abusive guilt trips everywhere we go when we have barely even found a voice to vocalise what happen to us. Before we even properly remember what happened to us and have only just started to question that we may have been abused we are already having forgiveness culture shoved down our throats and being threatened with never healing if we dont do it.
We are made to think forgiveness is some kind of fait accomplis that we will have to submit to eventually. We are emotionally manipulated that we ‘do it for ourselves’ implying that we will suffer if we dont.
I am full of rage that this christian concept is being forced onto survivors like this as if it is a given. The only thing that made me feel better was watching Sinead O Connors video
This woman is a tonic for my anger. Thank goddess for women like this who are angry at abuse and dont try and brush it under the carpet. I truly believe that forgiveness culture is to blame for the christian and catholic church allowing abuse to happen. They forgave the abusers instead of stopping them
No justice no forgiveness – its as simple as that
Forgiveness culture. It is not helpful to those of us who dont want to/ cant forgive our abusers. To pressure us by making out we will have less peace if we dont forgive or that we are somehow inferior or somehow undeserving of healing. This is just not true. I will not be pressured to forgive or be made to feel less than for not forgiving. Sometimes people who forgive are just sacrificing themselves and they will have much less inner peace than someone who prioritises their own wellbeing by not forgiving. I really dont like how it pressures people who are already going through enough with something that is just not true.
Forgiveness culture puts extra pressure on survivors that we just dont need. Focus on healing yourself. FUCK forgiveness. Anger is healthy. Never repress your anger. Anger is a million times more healing than forgiveness in a world where there is already way too much forgiveness for abusers and survivors are blamed. Stop blaming survivors. Now it is our own fault if we dont have inner peace because we didnt forgive FUCK THAT.
We need a world where more people get angry at abuse. Forgiveness culture is why rapists get such low sentences. Everyone is so compassionate to them but have very little compassion for survivors. As a society we are so nowhere near ready for forgiveness. Before forgiveness we need outrage, we need justice, we need penance, we need reparations.
How about we get proper sentences for perpetrators.
How about we get an end to victim blaming and proper services for survivors to heal.
How about we get an end to all violence against women and girls maybe after all that we can talk about forgiveness.
You tell me my rape was my own fault for wearing a shirt skirt but that I must forgive my rapist. Why so little compassion for me and so much for him?
You tell me there is no funding for me to have therapy. That I must go on a 2 year waiting list and then only get therapy for 12 weeks but that I must forgive my rapist.
You tell me maybe I am imagining it when I say I cant fully remember but still you tell me I must forgive my abuser.
Telling me to forgive before I have even fully remembered what happened to me let alone grieved for it or sought justice. Telling me to forgive when I cant even get back into my body and am experiencing a billion kinds of pain all day that I have to endure.
No one tells robbery victims to forgive. Imagine your house got robbed. What is the first thing people say to you: hey you should forgive your robbers – is it hell. People tell you to call the police to get justice but when our bodies and souls are violated in a way that destroys our whole world we are expected to forgive. This is the first words out of peoples mouths.
“Oh but but but you forgive for yourself” Repeat x a million in different patronising ways – FUCK OFF. Swallow down my anger so I almost choke to death on it. Paint my smile back on and be all sweetness and light when I only just found my feelings. My anger is not bad. It is not wrong. I will not apologise for it.
There is nothing more beautiful, powerful and healing than anger in an abuse survivor.
Anger says: I am fighting back, anger says what happened to me was wrong, anger says I will not stand by whilst this happens to another woman. Anger says I am putting myself first despite everyone elses attempts to keep me down and make me small. Anger says I shall fight for all women even those unable to fight for themselves. Anger says the abuse was the perpetrators fault and no one elses. Anger says my being unable to heal is the perpetrators fault, no one elses. Anger says I will never be silent about sexual abuse whilst it is still happening to women and girls
Forgiveness culture says: I am submitting. Forgiveness culture says I am a good survivor who is accommodating everyone else and making their lives easier by not causing a fuss, Forgiveness culture says I will paint my smile back on. Forgiveness culture says I am above other women who haven’t forgiven. Forgiveness culture says I will ignore that this is happening to lots of other women 24 hours a day so I can have an easier life. Forgiveness culture says what happened to me wasn’t really that bad. Forgiveness culture says abused women are the ones to blame for being mentally unwell as if the act of forgiving or not forgiving was to blame rather than the abuser and the abuse and not forgetting the patriarchal system that leaves us with no means to heal. Forgiveness culture shifts the blame from the abuser to the victim. Forgiveness culture says I will uphold the status quo by going back to business as usual and brushing rape and sexual violence under the carpet.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticising women who chose to forgive or saying that it doesn’t work for anyone. I am just speaking out against this culture where forgiveness is seen as a must or the only option for real healing. It is just one option among many and for some women it may be much more damaging than healing and this should be spoken about. It should not be taking up so much space in survivors groups, especially not as a Christian/ Catholic concept when these churches have such a bad track record when it comes to child abuse. Why is their ideology still the main narrative given the recent disclosures of mass abuse of children in these churches? It certainly shouldn’t be shoved down our throats 24 hours a day. I want to get across that women can fully heal without forgiveness.
I think you need to look at why is it you need me to forgive? Is it so you don’t have to look at me – so you can remain in denial about abuse happening, tell yourself that your daughters are safe in the world? Is it so you don’t have to support me or feel guilty for not supporting me? Is it so you don’t have to face your own abuse? Swallow it down women nothing to see here. Is it so you wont have to do the real work of challenging perpetrators? If you cant stand up to abusers the least you can do is get out of the way of those of us who are and stop telling us to forgive so you can feel better about yourself