Victim-blaming attitudes place the blame on the victim of a crime. Examples of victim-blaming in abusive relationships or rapes are: “She must have caused him to be abusive” or “she must have made him mad” or “she should not have worn that dress” or “she asked for it by getting drunk.” Victim-blaming attitudes criticize the victim and make it more difficult for them to come forward and report the crime.
It is important that we stop victim blaming. The reason people blame a victim is to distance themselves from the horrific event and make themselves feel that this could not happen to them. By labeling or accusing the victim, others feel immune to this abuse or crime. This is not a healthy reaction and only reinforces the attackers claims that it was the victim’s fault. However, holding abusers accountable sends a message to others that abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.
Legally, there are already many obstacles to persecuting abusers and rapist in our communities and blaming the victim does not help the situation. It is important to hold abusers accountable and not blame the survivor. These attitudes by others including law officials, only make the victim feel re-victimized and strengthens the abuser or rapist claim that it is the victim’s fault. It is important to remember that these are criminal acts and very few abusers or rapists willingly admit fault to begin with. Unfortunately, juries are selected from the very same public that has been doing the victim blaming.
Remember, it is NOT the victim’s fault– it is the abuser’s choice. Unfortunately, by engaging in victim-blaming, society allows the abuser to continue these abuses or sexual assaults while avoiding accountability for his actions. Many are not concerned until the rape or abuse happens to someone who they love.