Understanding the Role of Victim Blaming in Online Safety Education
It’s important to understand the role that victim blaming plays in online safety education. In particular, children often express victim-blaming attitudes towards the characters in online safety education stories. For example, young people may blame characters for causing them harm online by calling them dumb, naive, or stupid. This is problematic as it reinforces harmful social narratives. Thankfully, there are ways to counter victim blaming in fiction.
One study found that gender plays a role in the differential degree of victim blaming. The gender of the assailant and religious beliefs may influence the level of victim blaming. Furthermore, a victim’s perceived status as a submissive may influence the level of victim blaming. Hence, it is important to understand the role of power in reducing victim blaming and identifying the factors that contribute to victim blaming.
Studies have shown that victim blaming may play a role in reducing sexual assault rates. However, studies involving women have also shown that gender differences in victim blaming may be due to ingroup solidarity. In addition, women may feel more blamable when rape is involved, because they are perceived as sexually enticing. Furthermore, studies on the psychological effects of victim blaming have yet to explore the role that victim blaming plays in the reduction of rape rates.
Interestingly, a third study looked at the role of ethnicity in reducing victim blaming. This study found that participants who believed rape was motivated by power and not by sexual motivation blamed the victim more than those who were not. The three-way interaction between race and victim blaming was the main effect. The researchers interpreted the findings as contradictory and recommend more research. Further, victim blaming may be a factor in the response of people to crimes in different ethnic groups.
While the belief in the fairness of the world may protect victims from tragedies, it does not prevent them from blaming themselves. The victim blaming attitude contributes to the prevailing worldview that bad things happen to bad people. But it also obscures the fact that the perpetrator is the one who is at fault in causing pain and crimes. Instead of blaming the perpetrator, we need to show empathy and try to understand their position.
As a result of the social impact of victim blaming, the victim’s disclosure of the incident is less likely to be successful. They may be too embarrassed to disclose the abuse to their friends or family. As a result, 80% of victims do not report the crime until they reach adulthood. Victim blaming creates unnecessary emotional distress for victims and contributes to a cycle of self-blame and shame.
Victim blaming is harmful to society because it silences victims and prevents them from seeking help and reporting their crimes. In addition to denying the victim’s right to seek help, victim blaming encourages the perpetrator to repeat the behavior. A victim of abuse must always report the crime to the police. In fact, the sooner the victim reports, the better. So, don’t make victim blaming a habit in your home.