- Posted March 5, 2014 by
Greenville, North Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Social Media & Abuse Part One: How Soon is Too Soon
Imagine just minutes after being released from the hospital after being brutally beaten by their partner, the victim post pictures of themselves on a popular social media site.
Bruises, swollen eyes, blood clots, lacerations, that is enough to make anyone cringe and immediately feel compassion for the victim. Within minutes, the picture becomes viral and the victim becomes an internet sensation.
You see comments under the pictures fueled with anger for the perpetrator and concern for the victim. You see comments such as:
“No man should ever put his hands on a woman”
“I hope he burns in hell”
“I am so sorry; you must be such a strong person to live through this”
“I will be praying for you”
“Domestic Violence must end”
This goes on for hours, days and even weeks, but what happens when the hype is over? What happens when everyone has moved on to the next viral picture? Do they care anymore? Were they just living for that one moment? Has the victim received help or have they run back to their abuser? These are all questions that come to mind.
The big question must people want to know is, “Are these pictures being posted too soon?”
Do comments such as “I’m sorry” or “I hope he burns in hell” actually help the victim? Do these comments help them heal or come to grips with what just happened to them? Being emotionally driven by pictures is not a bad thing but one must learn to look beyond what they see. The victim was dying before the physical attacks occurred.
Emotional and mental abuse can take place years before the physical abuse. Many times victims have already posted subliminal messages on social media about such abuse-taking place. Why do those posts tend to be ignored? Why do people wait to react until it gets physical?
Some advocates argue that posting pictures prematurely can be a coping mechanism but can also open the door for more abuse to take place by those viewing the pictures. This statement seems to carry a great deal of weight because not long after some of the pictures are posted, you will see comments such as:
“You are posting this for attention”
“You made this up”
“You’re pathetic. I know you are lying”
The victim has once again become subject to mental and emotional abuse, not mention those who just want to use the victim’s story for their personal gain. If there are, any words of advice I would give to a victim who is, contemplating posting a picture prematurely, it is simply this, “WAIT”, unless this is your only way reach authorities. I know you are eager to get the word out and have people identify with you, but at what cost will that be to you? You have already gone through enough. Seek counseling and any other means of help first. You must be mentally and emotionally prepared for what comes after speaking out, which may include backlash. You must heal first before you can begin to heal others.