Community should be a safe space for abuse victims
Theologian and sexual abuse survivor Rocio Figueroa has expressed distress over the “victim blaming” that has been happening in the wake of the resignation of former Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan.
“The first response of the community needs to be to listen to and believe the victim,” Dr Figueroa told NZ Catholic. “The community must become part of the solution of the crisis of sexual abuse and not part of the problem.”
Dr Figueroa said some people tend to blame women, saying that if they behaved differently they would have avoided the abuse. She said this perpetuates “the belief that women are at fault when they are abused. It also leads to a lack of accountability and responsibility by men.”