Since the begin of time, some are labelled as the predatorsand others are unfortunately the victims. At times, possibly as a coping mechanism,the victim is partially blamed for the misfortunes that he/she has faced. The victimblaming theory ultimately states, individuals should recognize the dangers thatexist around them and therefore, should take the right precautions to maintaina certain level of safety.
Those who do not take such necessarysteps are responsible for whatunfortunate events that happens to them. Victim blaming essentially shifts theblame away from the offender of the crime onto the victim. When discussing theissue of sexual victimization, one often hears victim-blaming statements suchas; maybe if she was not walking in downtown by herself in a mini skirt ormaybe if she did not hang around all those men that would have not happened toher. I personally have been guiltyof victim blaming.
Late at night when I am at home watching the eleven o’clocknews, and they mention a female was raped or assaulted. One of the firstquestions I ask myself is, where was she going, who was she with and why didn’tshe protect herself better. However, thereare some situations where the victim is completely innocent, but disaster stillawaits her. The young innocent girl visiting her extended family, and her uncletouches her while she is asleep. There is also that young college sophomore whoends up being sexually assaulted at her sorority’s house.
Recently I saw amovie, where a young mother and her daughter were walking home from a party.The roads were not well lit, and they were alone. Unfortunately, they encounterfour men that dragged the young mother into a boat house and brutally gang rapedher in front of her daughter. This is an example of primary victimization.
Anyone who hears this story, wouldautomatically emphasize with the victim and place all blame on the offender. However,in the film the defendant’s attorney, painted a picture of the victim as beingresponsible. This is an example of victim blaming from the defendant’s attorney.
While this young mother was in court, she recalled each time one of the mentouched, kissed or forced themselves upon her, having to experience thedreadful experience all over again in front of many people. Which is an example of a secondaryvictimization. According to our book Womenin Crime, secondary victimization is defined as the victim experiences evengreater trauma after suffering from primary victimization. This woman whoalready had endured such a terrible ordeal has to bear even greater pain, whilein court, explaining everything that happened in great detail just to ensurethose who harmed her pay for their actions. While thewoman depicted above may represent a fictional drama, there are many cases,where these stories depicts the true lives of multiple men and women around theworld. However, one must ponder, how can this be so if the society that we liveis a just world? The just word hypothesis states the same energy that oneplaces into the atmosphere is the same energy that he/she will receive.
Forexample, if one is truly kind heart and treats others with love and respect,the same will be given unto him/her. In the same way, if one sows negativeenergy into the world, by completing criminal acts, negative consequences willbe his/her fate as well. For the most part this may be true, however we do notlive in a utopian society.
Some people encounter situations that they do notdeserve. They experience extreme hardship and life alternating events becausewe do not live in a flawless society. We do not live in a perfect society,because no one is perfect. Since we all live and must live with others who haveflaws, there are at times when difficult situation will arise. Thoseexperiences, I believe makes even better and stronger individuals, enhancingcharacter.