Preface: I posted this on Facebook a few years ago, but it still stands today, almost more today than it did 6 years ago (with some modifications). Please note that this may be triggering for some people who have been victims of assault, sexual harassment, and rape. I have nothing but love and support for all of you who have been victimized by the bad people of the world.
When I was a kid I was taught, in school and at home, that there were bad people in the world. As I got older, I met some. Some got the best of me, others failed to trick me, and I learned how to spot them. Now, I’m pretty good at judging the signs of mental and physical abusers, and I can protect myself through my vigilance and caution.
Every day I see another story about how bad people get the drop on good people. It makes me sad that there are still bad people in the world, and the frequency of their apathy toward their fellow man affecting the daily lives of people who don’t deserve it. I look at the situation, and sometimes I’m honestly astonished.
Just as the bad people have apathy toward the lives and feelings of others, many of these undeserving people are just as apathetic to the dangers around them. From a legal standpoint alone, this is a really haphazard way to live. If you have insurance against theft on property but do nothing to protect that property, you can’t claim the insurance, because you didn’t try to protect it within reason.
When a person harms another person without a justifiable reason, then they’re guilty of assault. If the person who was harmed was goading them on, or acting in a way that might suggest that an attack would be necessary, they’re also to blame. This does not remove any of the onus on the attacker being a bad person or criminal, but this could have been avoided. Any situation like this can be avoided.
When someone dresses to get attention, it’s just the same. Flashy clothes and exposed skin draw the eyes of onlookers. Good people, and bad people still turn their heads to see someone dressed up. And they see what they want to see. For the good people, they may see the effort that went into a costume, or the obvious care someone takes of their body. Bad people see ways to exploit them, or want to hurt them for being too different.
I’m not saying we should live in fear. I’m not defending the actions of anyone who wrongs anyone else. I’m not advocating becoming an antisocial shut-in.
When I was a kid I learned there were bad people in the world. Now instead of teaching that, people are seeing more and more that the victims are always absolved of any responsibility in what happened. They did nothing wrong, after all. They’re victims, they didn’t do anything to deserve it. But did they do anything to try to prevent it?
And I’d like to add, that I will never say anyone was “asking for it”. That’s a completely harmful and unhelpful commentary on the situation. The things that bad people do will still happen. People will still be attacked. People will still be raped. People will still get attention that they don’t want. But it almost always happens to the most appealing target. A little bit of vigilance, and a bit of foresight, can help you avoid every situation that you don’t want to be in.