No matter what bad thing happens to you, you can guarantee that someone will inevitably blame you for it happening. For example, if a branch falls on your car, its likely people will say, “well it’s your fault for parking under the branch.” Victim blaming is used in our everyday lives and its prevalence in our criminal justice system is horrendous. We specifically see this type of behavior revolving around victims of sexual assault. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, men aren’t held to high enough standards when it comes to sexual violence. The court system repeatedly will blame the victim for anything they can, in sexual assault trials.
Victim blaming has been explained by human psychology in the past. The Just World Hypothesis is one reasoning behind why individuals tend to continuously victim blame rather than help the victim. The Just World Hypothesis is a belief that the universe is morally fair and everyone gets what they deserve. The idea that the universe is morally fair is a comforting thought to many which is why victim blaming is so prevalent. Instead of accepting the flaws of the universe people are more in tuned to construct reasons why something occurred. For example, if someone stole a bike of someone’s porch, it’s easier to blame the owner of the bike for not putting it in the house rather than blaming the thief.
Victim blaming is causing individuals to not feel comfortable enough to report crimes that are happening to them. It is important that our mentality on victim base crimes lays less with, “what did you do to deserve that” and more with helping the victims.
Please feel free to comment your opinions on victim blaming!