Victim Blaming and Sexual Assault
It’s easy to be a victim of sexual assault, and even easier to use the concept of victim blaming as a plot device. It is not only a common way of explaining bad things that happen to us, but it can also be a powerful trigger for people who have experienced similar situations. The appeal of victim blaming lies in its ability to offer a false sense of control over one’s destiny and the hope that bad things will not happen to them. The idea that a victim chose to become a target is not one that many people can accept. As a result, many victims have a hard time accepting that their actions had nothing to do with the violence.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many victim blaming behaviors are culturally specific. For example, studies have shown that women blame other women when they experience a similar situation. However, this tendency does not apply to men or to children. Research from other cultures reveals that males are more likely to engage in victim blaming behaviors than females. The results of this study show that victim blaming differs between white and Hispanic Americans.
Oftentimes, the perpetrator is the one who is responsible for the crimes committed against them. The victim can blame themselves by asking him or her what he or she could have done differently. This practice reinforces harmful social narratives, such as the belief that bad things happen to bad people. But blaming others does not have the same effect. It’s not the victim’s fault. The perpetrator is at fault.
Despite the fact that it’s possible to address the feelings of shame and guilt with a therapist, the underlying causes of victim blaming are often difficult to overcome. While it’s hard to change our own fear response, we can train ourselves not to feel guilty and unsure of who committed the crime. It’s important to seek help from a therapist, but the only way to prevent this vicious cycle from developing is to speak up and share the story.
Another type of victim blaming is a classic psychological experiment where women were subjected to painful electric shocks while pretending to be a human being. The woman was a fake, but the experimenters had no way of knowing that. The women believed the woman was the one who was responsible for the attacks. They did not believe the actress had the right to act in this way. Therefore, the participants voted to stop the electric shocks.
The effects of victim blaming can be devastating to the victims. It’s not just the underlying causes of an attack, but it also involves the emotions involved. The more emotional distress a victim feels, the more likely she is to blame herself for it. This process may also lead to further victimization. Those who blame themselves for a sexual assault often feel more guilty than their attacker. By avoiding a relationship with the perpetrator, the victim can avoid the negative consequences of the attack.