Victim Blaming: 3 Noteworthy Facts of Why You Can’t Blame Rape on Victims

Sexual harassment victim

Victim Blaming: 3 Noteworthy Facts of Why You Can’t Blame Rape on Victims

Victim Blaming is a term that is actively roaming around society nowadays as the matter of sexual harassment arises among the younger generation. Through the power of the internet and social media, many have spoken up and took their standings on this issue.

With that being said, there are mixed responses and perspectives on various platforms. Some became more aware and empathetic to the victim while others took quite a twisted view. There are parties sharing ideas that victims of sexual harassment are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders either by wearing provocative clothing, not fighting during the happening and being at a certain condition that is inviting. These unconfirmed and alarming take-ups on sexual harassment have allowed predators and perpetrators to avoid being held accountable for their actions.

What is Victim Blaming?

Rape Victim Blaming

According to the Sexual Assault Center of Edmonton, Victim Blaming is a provoking action that is characterized by speaking, implying or treating a person who has suffered harmful or abusive behaviour as if it has been an outcome of what he or she has done instead of placing the responsibility on where it actually belongs. The following are 3 noteworthy facts of why you should not blame the victims:

Why do people blame the victim?

Let’s start with a look at victim-blaming behaviour. Various investigations have shown that the reasoning behind this collection of mindset is that humans, in general, fail to recognize that this tragedy could happen to them or that someone they know could commit this kind of actions. Thus, to make this themselves feel better, causes are sought so that they may take preventive and defensive measures. However, it is apparent that this is not true and rightful from any standpoint.

1. Provocative Clothing Does Not Promote Sexual Harassment

The Clothes of the Victim of Sexual Harassment

“What are they wearing? They must be asking for it.” is a remark frequently uttered by victim blamers. Studies have shown that most predators and perpetrators do not remember what their victims are wearing at the time of the incident. According to the Federal Commission on Crime and Violence Study, only 4.4% of all recorded rapes featured “provocative behaviour” on the victim’s side. Therefore, the claim that provocative clothing promotes sexual harassment is misleading and biased.

2. Tonic Immobility is Real

Tonic Immobility Illustration
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

“Why did you not fight back?” This argument has led many people to believe that the victims are to blame solely because they did not “fight” the sexual harassment. However, it is not thoughtful to think likewise as the fact speak the other way around. Humans have four major responses to threats: fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. Tonic immobility, the paralysis-like fear response, is one of the form of freeze response. Each individual has their own distinctive response that depends on a variety of factors. This response is rather neurological and a subconscious act rather than a choice. Thus making the action of blaming someone for sexual harassment only by their threat response shallow.

Based on the three facts stated above, it is clear that sexual harassment has always been the fault of the predators and perpetrators. Even if the victims are “inviting” the offenders, it is necessary to keep in mind that no one deserves to be sexually harassed or blamed for actions they did not do. People who want to or have committed sexual harassment should recognize their positions and the presence of self-control, considering lust can and must be controlled. On the other hand, victims who incur self-blame and torment themselves with false claims could benefit much from expert counseling and therapy.

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