A woman gets raped. Horrific and devastating. She reports it to police, man is arrested, trial, convicted, goes to prison for a long time. End of story....wellll, not really. See, the woman has to grapple with the trauma. Now first, (I am going to use 'we' because I am less interested in grammar than narrative), we have to focus on the events and circumstances leading up to the rape. We dress, we act, with the intent to feel nice about our appearance. It is not an invitation to assault, but first we ask: did we ask for this somehow. We are told we never ask for it - and on the fullest level, we didn't. But the thought does occur. If we can get past this and for many, they do, we then get to, could I have done more to prevent it. This one is harder because no matter how much you anticipate events, nothing is exactly as imagined. No matter how much you plan, no plan survives contact with the enemy. I've tried to tell people that it is not 'more' but 'different'. Could I have done something 'different'? The answer is yes, but the outcome might not have been any different.
If we can get past the second guessing about everything WE did or didn't do, we come to the 'what was he thinking' phase. This is futile. My experience with people that do horrific things is they weren't THINKING at all. It was some emotional ride their were on and it just 'got out of control'. Which is a bullshit excuse. They are not dogs/animals. The issue was 'they wanted and they were going to take what they wanted, period'. You can't spend time on 'what was he thinking' because it really had nothing to do with you.
We can sympathize with people going through this, some can empathize with them. But my problem begins when I am told I need to suffer along with them. And this is how that happens.
However or whatever way someone deals with a trauma - rape, or abuse, or anything that just kicks them hard, they need to deal with it in ways that address their issues. Let's say - it is a terrible (simplistic) example - that a woman was wearing a red dress when raped and the man was wearing a NY (sorry NY) Mets baseball cap. However she is approaching the issue, every time she sees a baseball cap her heart rate increases and she starts sweating. If it happens to be a NY cap, she begins to panic. Also, she got rid of the dress....as a matter of fact all her dresses and anything that was red....because every time she looked at 'red' in her closet, the same thing happened. She needs help dealing with these things and there is lots of help available.
But she doesn't go that way, she gets together with people supportive of her and gets them to agree not to wear red or baseball caps around her. So, after that she asks her employer to stop people from wearing red or wearing baseball caps. When turned down, she complains they were not being sympathetic to her situation. Pretty soon, she has friends and supporters protesting everywhere to ban red clothing and baseball caps. They do it in NY, at baseball games. Any suggestion or comment in opposition is immediately condemned as not being supportive.
Pretty soon the term 'trigger' is used and we all must consider our actions so that we don't inconsiderately trigger a panic attack.
We now must suffer along with the woman. We have to watch ourselves and others so as to not 'trigger' her response. A response that is understandable but not reasonable. The red dress and baseball cap had nothing to do with the rape.
I am not going to adjust my life to assuage your trauma. I will not be made to suffer as you do because you are dealing with suffering. I gave up a long time ago trying to second guess or rationalize things that are not rational. Shit happens, quit trying to smear me with it.