Things you should know about victim blaming
Reviewing the harmful culture of victim blaming
After a string of sexual assaults took place in north-west London, women have been argued not to use mobile phones or wear headphones, which can be considered as a different form of blaming the victim. The Metropolitan Police offered some safety advice to women like taking care when they’re walking alone, sticking to well-lit streets always, among others. Though the advice was well intended, it triggered criticism surrounding the culture of victim blaming as the narrative places the victim at fault, instead of the criminal.
Here’re some facts about the realities of sexual assault.
The BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics) reports that a huge percentage of sexual assaults and rapes perpetrated against girls and women in the US between 1992 and 2000 weren’t reported to the police. Only 26 percent of sexual assaults, 34 percent of attempted rapes, and 36 percent of rapes were reported. While reasons for not reporting sexual assaults vary among individuals, one study identified victim blaming as one of the common reasons.
Sexual violence has become alarmingly common in society. According to the CDC, in the US, nearly 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted or raped at some point in their lives, sometimes by someone they trust and know. In some Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries, the figure is even higher.
People, who tend to exhibit the practice of victim blaming, sometimes try to say that it’s not rape if one has had sex with that person before. In reality, just because one has consented to sex previously with somebody doesn’t provide the offender with perpetual rights to the victim’s body. If one’s boyfriend, lover, or spouse forces sex against his/her will, it’s rape.
Call to action:
According to you, what can be done to change the practice of victim blaming? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. You can also get in touch with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads to take the conversation forward. To have some thought-provoking reads, be sure to check out my books.
Smith, Melinda M.A. and Segal, Jeanne Ph.D. “Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma.” HelpGuide, Accessed May 29, 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-trauma.htm/
NIJ. “Reporting of Sexual Violence Incidents.” Updated October 26, 2010. https://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/rape-sexual-violence/pages/rape-notification.aspx