The still final judgment in the case of Dominik Feri is definitely a precedent that will be constantly pointed to. However, we would like to make sure that it does not stay only with the Feri case. There are many victims of domestic and sexualized violence, according to surveys, over 20% of women have experienced it. And it is important that every victim finds support so that the system can help them. In Pod Svícne, we call people who manage to walk away from the aggressor heroes. The ladies who stopped the whole process with Feri are also heroines.
Since the founding of Pod svíčnem, we have encountered a misunderstanding of the system, the approach to victims of sexualized and domestic violence, their victimization, denigration and judgment practically every day. If you ask these heroes and heroines what was the worst for them, they will almost always tell you the same thing. “What followed.” Regrets about what they could have done better, differently. Didn’t they talk about it. Friends and family often talk them out of testifying because they won’t ruin their lives. But they don’t. He ruined it for them. someone else. By their actions. And if there’s one thing family and neighborhood can do, it’s support. Trust. Kindness. Humanity.
When, with the help of therapists for example, the heroes finally come to the fact that they were not responsible for the act, the system kicks in. The system, which often wakes you up, floats to the ground and leaves it to its fate. So that you understand, both domestic and sexualized violence are characterized by the fact that the perpetrator blames his victim for all her behavior. “But she wanted it anyway, otherwise she wouldn’t have come.” “Look what she forced me to do, she’s so horrible that I couldn’t help it.” Because neither they nor these nice people can stand the horrors they do to another person. With this, they apologize to themselves and humiliate the person to whom they are doing it, kicking him, even if only with words.
We understood a long time ago that a system that is supposed to help people actually supports criminals. She sides with him because he questions the victim first. And it actually causes her the same thing as the person who abused her or otherwise harmed her. “Why were you there, why did you wear this, why did you drink that…” As if the freedom of movement and expression through clothing applies only to the perpetrator or people who are not harmed. God, what with her cleavage, short skirt, ripped stockings, what the hell are you all up to.
If we are to take anything away from this case, it is the lesson that there is no such thing as a perfect victim. The one in the corner trembles when someone speaks to her. The one who stops living after the terrible experience she reports. Even traumatized people laugh, have fun, their lives go on. However, this does not mean that the perpetrator of their trauma can run free, laugh at them and happily continue to commit criminal activities. And there is no such thing as a perfect perpetrator. He can be an intelligent, popular, hardworking, otherwise nice person. And of course, we have to write it here: a man can be a victim just as a woman can be a perpetrator.
What to conclude? Let’s hope that there are no conditions for sexualized and domestic violence. So that the victims receive decent compensation. After all, it pays for the necessary therapy, not a vacation to Bali. And also to get rid of being people’s judges and use what is close to us people. Humanity and empathy. Then we can only gain as a society. Not to lose.