Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Victim-blaming the first questions I ask myself

Victim-blaming theory
describes the practice of holding victims partly or fully responsible for their
misfortune. It represents the criticizing of individuals who have endured the
suffering of crimes or misfortunes. Often, victim-blaming theories rely on the
premise that individuals should recognize the dangers that exist in society and
therefore should take the right precautions to maintain a certain level of
safety. Those who do not take such precautions are perceived as being responsible
for their demise. These perceptions shift the blame away from the perpetrator
of the crime onto the victim. When discussing the issue of sexual assault, one
often hears victim-blaming statements such as, maybe if she was not walking in
downtown by herself in a mini skirt or maybe if she did not hang around all
those men that would have not happened to her.                                                                                                                                       

I personally have been guilty
of victim blaming. Late at night when I am at home watching the eleven o’clock
news, and they mention a female was raped or assaulted. One of the first
questions I ask myself is, where was she going, who was she with and why didn’t
she protect herself better.  However, there
are some situations where the victim is completely innocent, but disaster still
awaits her. The young innocent girl visiting her extended family, and her uncle
touches her while she is asleep. There is also that young college sophomore who
ends up being sexually assaulted at her sorority’s house. Recently I saw a
movie, where a young mother and her daughter were walking home from a party.
The roads were not well lit, and they were alone.  Unfortunately, they encounter four men that
dragged the young mother into a boat house and brutally gang raped her in front
of her daughter. This is an example of primary victimization.            Anyone who hears this story, would
automatically emphasize with the victim and place all blame on the offender. However,
in the film the defendant’s attorney, painted a picture of the victim as being
responsible. This is an example of victim blaming from the defendant’s attorney.
While this young mother was in court, she recalled each time one of the men
touched, kissed or forced themselves upon her, having to experience the
dreadful experience all over again in front of many people.  Which is an example of a secondary
victimization. According to our book Women
in Crime, secondary victimization is defined as the victim experiences even
greater trauma after suffering from primary victimization. This woman who
already had endured such a terrible ordeal has to bear even greater pain, while
in court, explaining everything that happened in great detail just to ensure
those who harmed her pay for their actions.                                                         While
the woman depicted above may represent a fictional drama, there are many cases,
where these stories depicts the true lives of multiple men and women around the
world. However, one must ponder, how can this be so if the society that we live
is a just world? The just word hypothesis states the same energy that one
places into the atmosphere is the same energy that he/she will receive. For
example, if one is truly kind heart and treats others with love and respect,
the same will be given unto him/her. In the same way, if one sows negative
energy into the world, by completing criminal acts, negative consequences will
be his/her fate as well. For the most part this may be true, however we do not
live in a utopian society. Some people encounter situations that they do not
deserve. They experience extreme hardship and life alternating events because
we do not live in a flawless society. We do not live in a perfect society,
because no one is perfect. Since we all live and must live with others who have
flaws, there are at times when difficult situation will arise. Those
experiences, I believe makes even better and stronger individuals, enhancing
character. 

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