Today April 3rd 2013 is International day against Victim Blaming. I have posted this on my social media accounts today and been amazed by the responses I have received, in both a positive and negative way.
I have been overwhelmed by the number of re-tweets my twitter posts have generated, re-tweets from both genders too not just from females as I had quite ignorantly anticipated. I was equally surprised at how many people had not heard of the concept of victim blaming with regard to sexual assault and rape. I would go as far as to say I have been amazed by how many people believe that a person wearing a short skirt or showing cleavage is some how putting themselves at risk of being assaulted.
A short skirt does not cause rape. Rapists cause rape.
One drink too many does not cause rape. Rapists cause rape.
Having been promiscuous in the past does not invite rape. Rapists cause rape.
Being out late at night does not invite rape. RAPISTS CAUSE RAPE!!!
Now you get the picture that the victim is never to blame, there is only ever one person responsible for rape and sexual assault and that is the perpetrator. Society allows us to believe that rapes happen when a masked man jumps out of the bushes, it seems too abhorrent to consider that such vile acts may take place within a family, within a marriage even. We obviously can’t go through life assuming that every person we talk to is likely to attack us, as women we’d miss out on a lot of chances to meet our prince charming if we were too afraid to talk to him!
We can of course reduce our risks by not getting in unlicenced taxi cabs and not walking home through deserted areas at night but God forbid the worst happens then the victim is still not to blame so please consider this before you speak.
Sexual abuse against children is even more unthinkable but does happen, its important to remember that as a civilised society the age of consent is there for a reason. Emotional maturity is the reason why if a 12 or 13 year old says they were a willing partner we have to stand back and say no this is abuse. If a 12 or 13 year old believes they were a willing partner then they have been groomed into this belief. It is often not until years later that they will realise in hindsight that they were abused.
Read this and consider how you would react…
Lets all stand together and say NO to victim blaming. We can do this by challenging our friends and family when they read a press article and by contacting the media and letting them know we won’t accept the rape culture they project upon us. We must ultimately as a society teach our sons not to rape and not rely on teaching our daughters to wear longer skirts.