Thursday, 21 January 2010

Who will be a Victim?

Who is more likely to become a victim?

Well, there are many examples of people in particular categories who are more likely to become victims.. Let`s just look at those first: Children, of course, the mentally ill, old people, the sick, and of course anyone with diminished faculties, for whatever reason. Why? The answer is that it is easier to abuse, in any way, someone who is weaker in some way, who has less awareness, principally because they may not understand, may not be able to represent themselves adequately, or may not be believed when they tell someone else.

Let`s take sexual abuse of a child: Someone with greater power can use threats and manipulation to prevent a child from disclosing the truth and also a child is less believable than adults in anycase. Children are also suggestible, they will likely take on guilt that is ascribed to them and not be able to reason through the justifications fed to them.
Someone mentally ill may realise they are being abused, in whatever form that may take, yet if they tell someone what is happening, they are less likely to be believed because they are deemed to be lacking capacity.
A person who is ill, perhaps elderly, may not have awareness to know what is happening and may not have the wherewithal or stamina to tell someone in a position of authority.
For all of these vulnerable people, the main reason for the perpetrator bullying or abusing them in particular, is that their lack of social power tends to make them invalid as witnesses to their own situation. In short....and this is not just a little like Darwin`s survival of the fittest, the stronger amongst us human animals can victimise the weaker and those that feed off victims tend to abuse where they wont get caught.

So what of children who get bullied in school, or women who fall victim to men, or the employee who gets bullied at work? Are they identifiable as being weak? Well, they don`t necessarily have a weakness that renders them vulnerable, but folks who become prey to ongoing bullying often have a vulnerability. Take a child who is a little shy, perhaps under-confident, perhaps unhappy, as soon as they walk into a school their body-language gives off a signal to children who have learned to want to hurt other children that this child can be their victim.

As we examined before, a bully may have been bullied, or he/she may have learned how to bully by watching it done to others. Some children copy the bullying mode of relationship and inflict it upon other children. Some children who are bullied discharge their own pain by hurting other kids. But some children bullied or undermined or unloved at home become burdened with low self-esteem, and, without an adequate core-self, they become easy targets for victim seekers in school and beyond. And victim seekers have a major talent for sniffing-out vulnerability.

We can apply this to adults also: If an adult has low confidence, maybe has some life problems, feels inadequate, they can become targets for abuse. Some people just find it difficult to stand up for themselves and end up being made fun of by the people around them. Referring back to medical misogyny: A strong woman with lots of confidence would be less likely to become victim to a doctor, as indeed anyone with strong family support will be safer in these terms. Confidence and being part of a group is always a protecting factor. The bully will always sense that someone is under-confident or that they wont have support from the people around them. It`s all part of the animal instinct that is able to assess, almost instantly, any person encountered.

This is a sad state of affairs indeed...Some people just like to have a victim, it is second nature to them, and although, of course, there are many good people who wouldn`t take part in such insidious behaviour, we should not forget that our social world functions around the survival of the fittest.

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