Stop lifting perpetrators actions; Victim blaming remains issue in society


  “But what was she wearing?” “She must have been sending mixed messages.” “Did she even try to stop it?” “Does she even have any proof?”

      All of these ridiculous quotes are the exact opposite of what anyone should ever say when someone comes forward about sexual assault.

      Victim blaming, as defined by Macmillian Dictionary, “the practice of blaming someone who is a victim of crime for behaving in an unsafe way, rather than focusing on the perpetrator of the crime.” To put it simply, victim blaming happens when a survivor of abuse, assault, and violence are blamed for their abusers’ actions.

     To blame someone for something completely out of their control – and in return, validate their abuser is not only unacceptable, it’s profane. If someone questions a survivor, it does absolutely nothing but lift the abuser up and pull the survivor down.

      According to RAINN, one out of six women are assaulted in their lifetime, while one man out of ten are survivors as well. Numerically, “there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.” That is only the reported number of cases. Unreported cases can go unseen due to victim blaming. It can make them feel as if they are unsafe, people won’t trust them, and more.

      Victim blaming also reinforces the abuser’s behavior. It allows them to believe that what they did was okay, because it allows them to not hold themselves accountable for their own actions. This can lead to them taking advantage of more people, and one victim is already too many.

      It is never the survivor’s fault – it doesn’t matter if they’re wearing the shortest or longest skirt ever known to man. It doesn’t matter if they were sending mixed signals or not. It doesn’t matter regardless of what they were or were not doing. If they didn’t say a solid, confident “yes,” then they didn’t ask for that violence. No one should take someone else’s experiences and invalidate them. It is not anyone’s right to determine and speak on anything that does not concern them. 

     And, sadly, not a lot of people get that.

      This cannot be reinforced enough. Believe in them and help them from the get-go.  Never question until there is a reason to- and usually, cases where there is a reason to question their story don’t happen. If anyone ever opens up about sexual assault, believe them.