Victim blaming is when a person holds the victim partially or completely at fault for an event. This type of behavior is extremely harmful and should never be tolerated. It can lead to resentment and feelings of guilt. It also puts a person at risk for further abuse and misunderstandings.
It discourages survivors from coming forward, and is a form of victim shaming. Blaming the victim for the harm done to them can make it more difficult to recover from a traumatic experience. It also shifts the focus from holding the perpetrator accountable for the harm they caused.
Victim blaming can also occur in the media. Reading about a crime that was covered in the media can increase your risk of victim shaming, particularly if the crime was done by a stranger. This kind of media coverage causes cognitive dissonance and may also lead to feelings of unfairness. Victim blaming may be more common among those who view the media as sympathetic. On the other hand, reading stories about the perpetrators may reduce your risk of victim shaming.
Victim blaming is also common among children and young people. This attitude needs to be challenged and prevented, as it reinforces harmful social narratives. Instead, discussions on victimisation should focus on the criminal behaviour of the perpetrator. If a child or young person has been victimized, it’s best to talk about the circumstances surrounding the risky behaviour.
Victims of sexual violence often experience fear, shame, and self-blame. This stigma and victim blaming can prevent survivors from getting the help and support they need. In addition, it can lead to further abuse of the victims. For this reason, it’s important to prevent victim blaming and support the victim in her healing process.
The rape fallacy can lead to victim blaming by ignoring other causes of risk. This fallacy often leads victims to blame themselves instead of blaming the perpetrator. It also perpetuates the myth that sexual assault is caused by carelessness or improper clothing. These myths often cause victims to blame themselves and consider themselves “partly responsible.”