Internalized bias: How grooming works on all of us
There are a lot of reasons that guilt, shame and self-blame are significant symptoms after trauma related to sexual violence. One reason is that myths are used not only on the survivor, but also on the audience—which includes all of us. Myths used by the perpetrator show up as sources of shame for many survivors as well as being internalized by all of us and externalized by many. They tend to fall into three categories:
Victim masochism: he/she/ze liked it. Perpetrators’ claims that “I don’t need to rape anyone, I get plenty of sex” also fall into this category. It includes the mistaken claim that rape is sex.
Victim precipitation: this one seems to be very popular right now. We’ve all heard the script, now it just has a name.
Victim fabrication: This one is the most straightforward. There are many ways to claim that someone lied, but jokes about regretting having sex give it a lot of power. It’s probably also the most baffling to anyone who has endured the ordeal that is making a report of sexual assault.