As Free as a Bird

Spreading my voice on the injustices of rape culture, misogyny, and human trafficking in an effort to educate others and empower like-minded women.

Victim Blaming and Victim Shaming

Victim Blaming: The act of insinuating that the victim of a crime is at fault for the crime. This is seen extremely often in rape cases. The victim is blamed for their own rape. In other words, society may accuse them of wearing “suggestive clothes”, drinking “excessively or irresponsibly”, giving “suggestive eye contact”, or acting “suggestively”, claiming that the victim caused the rape to happen because of “poor decisions” or “irresponsible/slutty behavior”.

Victim Shaming: When victim blaming goes a step further. Outside of blaming a victim for the crime committed against them, people may begin to bully the victim for the crime. They may call the victim derogatory names, threaten them for coming forward, gang up on them on the internet, slander them, attack them verbally and physically, and taunt them endlessly.

tumblr_mkzvbmwDg11qaqasro1_1280

Both victim blaming and victim shaming seem to be a current trend in our society. I’m not sure if these situations are just now coming to light in the masses, or if it was always going on. Something tells me it’s been happening for a very long time.

When I was sitting in the police cruiser on the night of my attack the police were grilling me to tell them about what happened and draw up a formal charge. I told them that I did not want to press any charges, and that I just wanted to go home. They acted like they had no idea why I would not want to press charges, but I quickly enlightened them (keep in mind this was much before the Jane Doe, Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd, and other related cases came into the light). I told them that I knew what people would say of me, that they would call me a slut, say I was asking for it, and I would just be the slut in the green dress. They tried to assure me that no one would think that about me, and though I knew that what they were saying was not true, I reluctantly gave my statement and spent the longest 2 hours of my life waiting in the police cruiser.

The police pretty much shamed me for not wanting to come forward, but I think people can see why at this point in time. Jane Doe and Rehtaeh Parsons endured endless bullying from their peers and society. The process of reporting is traumatic enough without rape culture being at a height and extremely public. The police tried to convince me by saying, “Don’t you want to stop him from doing this to anyone else?” If you say anything other than yes you look like a monster, and if you say yes you are damned for life for reporting. No wonder barely any women want to report. People always like to look down on women for not reporting, but I fully understand why they do not want to.

I want to change this society, but I can’t do it alone. We all have to work together to beat it.

320325_531694146866205_663816156_n

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Victim Blaming and Victim Shaming

  1. You are right, we need to work together. I’m a rape survivor (twice over) and when reported the 2nd rape the perpetrator got off without a blemish on the record because he was such a good citizen. It is a matter if educating and awareness and empowering women to not me afraid. Let them know they are not alone.

    Blessings
    Shannon

    • It is important to reach out to each other and provide support for each other. Even if one has never been assaulted, it can still touch their lives. Education is vital, and I honestly believe nothing can be accomplished without it. If the people do not know/understand the issues, they cannot oppose what is going on or work to fight it. Survivors are not alone. There are so many of us out there, and it is important to be reminded of that. I am sorry that this has happened to you, and no one deserves to endure something like this. Thank you for your courage to share with me. It can be very healing to talk about sexual assault and ways that we can work to combat it. I know that it isn’t easy. Keep it up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: