Creating a Safe Environment

The following is an informative post by Faith Hakesley, author of the book “Glimmers of Grace: Moments of Peace and Healing Following Sexual Abuse”.


I have something to say about a very serious issue that has reared its ugly head once again.

I want to talk to you about victim blaming.

What is victim blaming? Simply put, victim blaming occurs when the victim is held at full or partial fault for a crime that has been committed. One example is putting blame on a female victim of sexual assault for her manner of dress. In order to truly take a stand against any kind of abuse, society needs to stop the victim blaming.

This culture of victim blaming has become ingrained in our culture and is purported in part through the media. Stories of sexual assault are sensationalized, negative assumptions are inferred about the victim, and the full blame is oftentimes not put entirely onto the person who is should be on – the predator. Sadly, I dealt with my own fair share of victim blaming when I came forward with my story of sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest. This blaming even went into the trial with the defense and the media making sweeping assumptions about my family and me.

My heart breaks for survivors who try to come forward but are then blamed for the abuse or for “covering it up.”

There is a portion of my blog called Healing Hearts, Hope Restored. This is where I open my blog to stories of hope, healing, and restoration. It’s my way of trying to give other trauma survivors a voice.

A few months ago, I posted a very beautiful and heartfelt open letter from a Catholic priest named Fr. Brent Shelton. I have since deleted his letter and I think you’ll understand why once I explain.

[Please read the rest on her blog: ]