HERE’S WHY RAPE ISN’T THE VICTIM’S FAULT | A LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR THOSE WHO NEVER SEEM TO GET IT
Credits: Farah Siddiquie
Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
One reason people blame a victim is to distance themselves from an unpleasant occurrence and thereby confirm their own invulnerability to the risk. By labeling or accusing the victim, others can see the victim as different from themselves. People reassure themselves by thinking, "Because I am not like her, because I do not do that, this would never happen to me." We need to help people understand that this is not a helpful reaction.Victim-blaming attitudes marginalize the victim/survivor and make it harder to come forward and report the abuse. If the survivor knows that you or society blames her for the abuse, s/he will not feel safe or comfortable coming forward and talking to you.
Victim-blaming attitudes also reinforce what the abuser has been saying all along; that it is the victim’s fault this is happening. It is NOT the victim’s fault or responsibility to fix the situation; it is the abuser’s choice. By engaging in victim-blaming attitudes, society allows the abuser to perpetrate relationship abuse or sexual assault while avoiding accountability for his/her actions.
But are the victims to blame? Absolutely not
We have been raised in a culture where sexual violence is frequent and rape excused and normalized by society and media. Our society perpetrates a ‘rape culture’ within which women are taught to avoid getting raped instead of men being taught not to rape. This is outrageous and we all should be scandalized by it. Victims are often seen as just as guilty as – or even more guilty than – abusers. I acknowledge here that men are also vulnerable to sexual abuse, but in this particular moment I am focusing on sexual violence against women.
FACT: Sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault.
Sexual assault is a violent attack on an individual, not a spontaneous crime of sexual passion. No one ‘asks for’ or deserves this type of attack. Apart from the social and mental implications of victim blaming on an individual, it also makes it harder for other victims to come forward and report their assaults.