What is victim blaming?

Donna Rotunno, the lead attorney for Weinstein, has called her client, Harvey Weinstein, “the target of a cause and a movement,” adding that this movement has enabled women to not take responsibility for their actions and to retroactively re-name past sexual encounters as “assaults.”

She said, “In [the prosecutors’] universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they accept, the jobs they ask for help to obtain.”

The victims hoped their relationship with Weinstein would advance their careers, so even if they didn’t want to have sexual relations with him they did so because they would get something in return.

what is victim blaming

Victim blaming is when a victim of a crime is held partially or fully responsible for the crime with regard to choices he or she makes. It is the idea that the victim said something or did something or wore something that led to the assault. Or that the victim put him or herself at danger for the crime that was committed.

It is also the biggest reason that people don’t bring sexual abuse cases to the legal system.

a few statistics

15% of American women have been raped

yet…

out of 1000 sexual assaults, only 230 are reported to the police and 5 are incarcerated.

while…

out of 1000 robberies, 619 are reported to the police and 20 are incarcerated.

why victim blame

the Just World Hypothesis

Research shows that victim blaming comes from a tendency to think of the world as a “just” place where people get what they deserve. So, when you hear your neighbor’s house was broken into you believe it’s because he didn’t lock his doors, for example. When we hear about sexual assault, we like to believe that our behavior precludes it from happening to us. This makes us feel like we have agency, and that makes us feel safer.

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