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Enough With Victim Blaming

The following was sent to me in hopes that I would share it on my blog.  It makes many good points in my opinion.  Please share your thoughts, comments, and opinions on this post.  Thanks as always to those who share with me and SAFE International.

Research has demonstrated that rape victims are vulnerable to so-called secondary victimization. This is a predicament in which certain people imply that it is the victim’s fault that they were raped, and had they followed certain basic rules they would have been spared the attack.

How can anyone possibly put the responsibility of being raped on the victim? Do they not know that blame and open criticism are likely to contribute to the victims’ reluctance to report rape to the authorities? Are they not perturbed by the fact that most incidents of rape and aggression are never reported and that the conviction rate for aggressors remains at an abysmal level?

Even those who clearly state that victims should not be blamed for their sexual assault follow with recommendations such as “never walk alone, especially when it’s dark” and “avoid certain types of clothing.” While well-meaning, these precautionary tips often place the responsibility of avoiding and deterring rape upon the potential victim.

The Huffington Post article “Top Nine Ways Not to Get Raped” mentions several attitudes and beliefs about sexual assaults that are generally false but unfortunately widely held. The presence of the list of precautions implies that there is something preventable on the part of the victim, implying that sexual assault cannot be prevented on the part of the perpetrator. While these are established "tips" to avoid danger, the author correctly recommends that we should be focusing prevention on the perpetrator rather than the victim.

Say no to victim blaming.

Terri A.
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Thursday, 23 May 2019
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