After seeing a rather offensive ad on the internet about rape and victim blaming made by police, I decided to throw my two cents into the mix about this quite frankly enraging matter.
To me victim blaming is somewhat of a paradox. If you are a victim it is because something unwanted happened to you that was out of your control and therefore you are not to blame. If you are a perpetrator it is because you did something unwanted to someone else that was completely in your control so you in turn would be to blame. Most reasonably intelligent people are capable of understanding the difference between those two things yet still when it comes to issues of rape and sexual assault the victim is made to feel that they are at fault in some way.
- If you are driving your car and another car where the driver has been drinking comes speeding towards you and hits you, is it your fault?
- If you put your purse/wallet into your pocket and someone else purposely bumps into you and steals it, is it your fault?
- If your house gets damaged from stormy weather, is it your fault?
Obviously it would not be your fault in any of those cases because the events would have been out of your control. You would not be to blame nor would anyone make you feel responsible for what had happened. So why is it different when it comes to acts of sexual violence? If it isn’t my fault if my purse gets stolen why is it my fault if I get sexually assaulted?
If another person puts their hands on you without your permission and attempts to hurt you for their gratification IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.
If someone chooses to commit an act of violence on another it is not the fault of the victim. Until more people start to realize this and stop giving rapists an out there will continue to be a huge number of rapes and assaults that go unreported. Thankfully there are some decent ad campaigns out there that are taking blame away from the victim and trying to decrease the number of sexually violent attacks that occur.
For those who still don’t get it:
If a woman
- wears revealing outfits,
- talks openly about sex,
- has had a few one night stands,
- has had sex with over 20 people,
- obviously flirts with men and/or women,
- drinks a lot or gets drunk on a night out,
- goes back to a mans place,
- brings a man back to their place,
- and/or kisses a man,
it does not mean they will or want to have sex with any and every man. Nor does it give any man the right to presume the woman is theirs for the taking. If sex occurs without the full consent of both parties, that is rape. If a woman gives her consent and says she is willing and wants to have sex with a man. That is not rape. I don’t think it can be said much clearer than that.
There is a line between rape and sex; that is consent. You can rationalize it all you want but if consent is not given when a sexual act takes place then it is rape and the blame is on the person that committed the act not the victim.