Victim Blaming in Sexual Assault Cases
Victim blaming is when a person makes a statement that implies a victim is partly or completely at fault for a crime. It is common in cases of sexual assault. Often times, the victim is blamed for wearing provocative clothing, being too drunk, or provoking the victim. This creates a psychological distance between the victim and the perpetrator. In addition, victim blaming often discourages the victim from reporting the crime.
The term victim blaming was coined by Kurt Metzger, a writer for Inside Amy Schumer. He used the term to reignite a national conversation about the issue. His work inspired researchers to begin research on this topic. Using a number of different studies, researchers discovered that moral values and cultural norms play a significant role in determining whether or not a victim will blame a victim.
In some studies, the tendency to blame victims was stronger among White Americans. Researchers also found that people were less likely to victim blame if they had a high level of education. Those with higher levels of education tend to be more liberal. Moreover, they have been conditioned to think that they have control over their own destiny.
Survivors of sexual assault report feelings of self blame. They may believe that they were too trusting, or that they wore provocative clothes, or that they were drunk at the time of the crime. Survivors can avoid this phenomenon by seeking out professional help. Therapists can teach victims to accept responsibility for their actions, and can even help them break the cycle of self-blame.
Research into victim blaming has shown that it has a profound effect on the victim. Specifically, it is often the cause of shame and increased anxiety. Additionally, it impedes recovery and growth. For this reason, it is important to understand the factors that lead to victim blaming.
In addition to cultural and ethnic differences, victim blaming is affected by the way people perceive themselves. Research by Laura Niemi and Liane Young suggests that victims who are stereotyped as weak or untrustworthy are more likely to blame other individuals than those who are perceived as strong or trustworthy. As a result, they are more likely to focus on the individual’s faults and overlook the fact that the perpetrator is at fault for the crime.
Another study by Laura Niemi and Liane Youn showed that individuals who have higher individualized values are less likely to blame a victim. However, it is important to remember that the opposite is also true. Essentially, people who have more binding values – those that emphasize fairness and protecting the group’s interests – are more likely to victim blame than those who have more individualized values.
Regardless of the circumstances, if you are a victim of sexual violence, it is important to seek out professional assistance. A therapist can help you learn to overcome your feelings of self-blame and guilt, and can provide resources to you to make the recovery process easier.