Blame the victim

After an attack there are certain myopics who blame the victim herself for what happened. If it is a woman who has been raped, someone explains that her skirt was very short or that she strutted provocatively. If it is a robbery, there are those who will say a flashy purse or shiny earrings provoked the criminal’s greed. In the case of someone who has been the object of political repression, there is no lack of people who will justify it, saying that imprudence was the cause of such an “energetic” response. In the face of these attitudes, the victim feels doubly assaulted.

The dozens of eyes that watched as Orlando and I were forced into a car with blows would prefer not to testify, and so they put themselves on the side of the criminal.

The doctor who does not make a record of an act of physical mistreatment, having already been warned that in this “case” there must be no document to prove the injuries received, is violating his Hippocratic oath and, with that wink, becomes the culprit’s accomplice. To those who feel there should be more bruises and even fractures before they can feel compassion for the person attacked, not only are they quantifying the pain, they are also saying to the attacker, “You have to leave more signs, you must be more aggressive.”

Nor is there any shortage of those who are always going to assert that the victim inflicted the wounds upon herself, those who don’t want to listen to the screams or the laments right next to them, but who emphasize and publish what happens thousands of miles away, under another ideology, another government. They are the same non-believers who thought that UMAP* was an enjoyable camp, combining military preparation and farm work. Those who still continue to believe that executing three men* was justified to preserve socialism, and that when someone punches a nonconformist it is because the latter was asking for it with her critiques. The eternal justifiers of violence are not convinced by any evidence, not even the brief initials R.I.P. on white marble. For them, the victim is the cause, the aggressor the mere executor of an obligatory lesson, a simple judge and corrector of our deviations.

Brief medical report

I am recovering from the physical injuries resulting from the abduction of last Friday. The bruises are lessening and what bothers me the most now is a sharp pain in the lumbar region which obliges me to use a crutch. Last night I went to the clinic and they treated me for the pain and inflammation. It is nothing that my youth and good health cannot overcome. Fortunately, the blow they gave me when they forced my head to the floor of the car has not affected my eye, only the cheekbone and the brow. I hope to have recovered in a few days.

Thank you to friends and family who have looked after and supported me, the effects are fading, even the psychological ones which are the hardest. Orlando and Claudia are still in shock, but they are incredibly strong and also will overcome it. We have already begun to smile, the best medicine against abuse. The principal therapy for me remains this blog, and the thousands of topics still waiting to be touched on.

(Editor’s note: Post dictated by telephone)

Translator’s notes
UMAP = Military Units to Aid Production. Forced labor camps established in Cuba in 1965 under the banner of ideological rehabilitation. Inmates included a wide variety of “anti-social elements” as well as religious people and gays.

Executing three men = On April 2, 2003 a group of Cubans hijacked a ferry with about 50 people on it, planning to sail it to the United States. Just over a week later, Lorenzo Copello, Barbaro Sevilla and Jorge Martinez were executed for “grave acts of terrorism.”

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159 thoughts on “Blame the victim

  1. Minha mensagem saiu muito mal em espanhol, vou falar em português que fica mais fácil para você entender, é só usar o tradutor do google.. Li sua matéria aqui em uma revista muito popular no Brasil, a Veja. Estou chocada com tudo o que aconteceu. Estou indignada e vejo sua luta como um exemplo para todas as mulheres do mundo e todos os povos oprimidos pela força bruta… Espero que você tenha força para seguir sua luta e ser porta voz deste povo que está oprimido e sofrendo. Um abraço do Brasil.

  2. Hola amiga!!! Acá estoy hablando y saludandote desde Brasil. Yo no escribo muy bien en español, pero me gustaria de dicer de como nosotros acá estamos solidarios con tu luta y tu ganas de vivir por una causa. Que país es este que intenta calarte una mujercon agresión???
    Yo tengo certeza que días mejores para usted y para Cuba están cerca de llegar. saludos ddesde Brasil

  3. Yoani is an example of courage, intelligence and all that is good in a young generation of cubans, but why anybody here tell her that that freedom she is looking for is not out of our beloved island, freedom is just inside us, and it comes from education, which gives us the freedom to think, Yoani out here is not as free as you think it is….we can talk about that if you want to…keep your brain working and thanks for making a difference…

  4. yoanis, please, do not give up……. Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation

  5. “Nana said, ‘Learn this and learn it well, my daughter: like a compass needle pointing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.'”-A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

  6. Yoani should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is a woman of remarkable courage, strength, intelligence, and integrity.

  7. They are geting to their end and you are the bravest,more than respet and admiration you deserve.I only feel guilty because the inacction.overwelminly sorry,but 100% on your side.Juan Cralos.

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