Victim Blaming: when somebody blames abuse/sexual assault etc on the person that suffered the abuse.
Victim blaming most commonly occurs surrounding rape cases. Usually three key sentences come into play
- “She was asking for it”
- “Well what was she wearing?”
- “She’s probably lying, she’s such a slut anyway right?”
and so on. (Please note this post is only in regards to female rape victims, on male rape victims would be a whole different post)
Why are people so desperate to hold the victim responsible for what happened to them?
I think that it’s similar to the cancer-patient mentality. Hear me out. See we talk about people who have cancer as just that, people who have cancer, instead of just people. It’s like an invisible barrier distinguishing that They are different from Us, as though that prevents any one who doesn’t currently have cancer from getting it at all. By saying that someone who got raped was asking for it, is lying, or deserved it for being a whore, (regardless of the age of the victim) is essentially saying “Well she was wearing a short skirt because she’s a slut. We aren’t trashy and we don’t wear skirts that short therefore it couldn’t ever happen to us” Do you get it? separating yourself that way from a problem doesn’t make you immune to it. It just makes it worse for the victim, and excuses the rapist by justifying the rape.
This was inspired by What We Saw, by Aaron Hartzler. It’s a really in depth and blunt look at victim blaming after rape.