Victim-blaming: It has to STOP!
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
It doesn’t matter if it’s a video of domestic abuse, news of a missing woman, or even reports of the sexual assaulting of a woman, somehow or another, the focus seems to shift from proving the elements of the crime to assassinating the victim’s character.
With the constant news media reports on social media, one need only to scroll below the articles to find what some people are thinking and focusing on. Some will post tidbits of the crimes — their opinions of the truth; others will provide rebuttal through unsubstantiated allegations. Yet, for another part of the population, this is an opportunity to do more — to try to hurt.
Known as trolls, these individuals seek out opportunities to use social media as their megaphone. Their remarks are usually harsh and cruel. In cases of crime or victimization, trolls seek to blame the victim, vilifying her for being victimized.
How is it when a crime occurs, the first reaction seems to be the blaming of the victim? If she hadn’t been (insert any reason), she never would have been (insert crime). I’m dumbfounded at the ignorance, enraged by the hypocrisy, as if women are always “asking for it.” It’s as if our minds have quickly accepted the abusive cycle and words of a sociopath, “You made me do it.”
My quiet rage has been building over the last few months, as women continue to be victimized world-wide. The common response is “she asked for it,” as if by having female genitalia somehow makes the woman weaker and unable to be kept safe; unable to be safe. Instead, we offer lame excuses of why the female should be inferior – believing and buying into the ideas of patriarchy, as if we should be cursing our vaginas for not being penises.
We all have a right to be safe in our persons and surroundings, regardless of the nature of circumstances surrounding us. Just because someone decided to take advantage of circumstances, the person to be scrutinized should be the perpetrator — the one, who chose to prey on the woman as if she were less. It is not the fault of the abused woman that she is battered, nor is it the fault of a sexually-assaulted woman that she is raped!
Wanna-be sleuths will sort through the victim’s history, searching for something torrid to sway public opinion. They will justify the crime committed against her, judging it by her history. Hoping to sway the reader, the crime against the victim will then be regarded as pure happenstance or comeuppance, as if she deserved that beset on her. Some will call it a reckoning, others will refer to it as karma.
Still others will say that she should check her rights at the door, being okay with the degradation. If she had only listened, their statements will begin, as if a woman submitting to victimization lessens the crime, and clears the perpetrator of wrong doing.
It’s beyond sickening to know that as a society we place more value on the perpetrator instead of the victim. We forget those that have been victimized to idolize those that have caused such irreversible harm.
Maybe I am too close to this topic to fully grasp why instead of supporting and helping these women, who have experienced such trauma, hardship and abuse, we instead accept the uttered words of trolls who hide behind computer screens. So, what is your opinion? How can we change the current situation and dialogue?