Blaming the Wrong People

TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT

Think about puppies and kittens. Don’t read past this point if you might be triggered by the topic.

This is a bunch of random words I’m putting here so this will be what shows up in the previews of the post, rather than the previews showing the stuff some people might not want to read.

I think this should be enough randomness for the previews. On with the actual post…

I saw something on Facebook recently about an item of clothing for women. An item designed specifically so it would be more difficult for a rapist to remove.

This is something that’s bugged me for a long time. When someone is sexually assaulted, it is not their fault in any way, and yet our society teaches that it is. That it’s especially the fault of any woman who experiences an assault—and a frighteningly high percentage of women do.

We aren’t taught “don’t commit sexual assault.” We, women particularly, are taught “don’t get assaulted. Don’t go out alone after dark. Don’t wear shoes you can’t run in. Don’t wear skirts that are too short or shirts that are too low-cut. Don’t drink. Don’t go anywhere with someone you’ve just met, even if they seem like a nice person.”

Victim-blaming, to put it bluntly, sucks. Telling someone how to prevent being a victim, instead of teaching people not to victimize, is useless. We can’t control other people’s actions, and if someone is determined to commit a crime, or doesn’t even realize what they’re doing *is* a crime, no amount of modest clothing or only going out in daylight is going to change things.

“Here. Here’s a pair of pants you can wear that will make it harder for someone to rape you” is complete crap. It’s an unfortunately necessary bit of complete crap, but that doesn’t make it any less crap. It’s still putting the burden on the potential victim to prevent the potential criminal from being a criminal.

This is a rant, because the solution is so global there’s no way to implement it unless everyone is on board. And that solution is to recognize that someone who is sexually assaulted is NEVER complicit in their assault. Is NEVER to blame. That solution is to offer the same legal recourse and the same support to assault survivors that we offer to someone whose home was robbed, or someone whose car was stolen, or someone who got beaten up outside a bar because they looked at someone else wrong.

But some people will never be on board with that, because for whatever reason, some people will always blame the victim for being victimized, rather than the criminal for committing a crime.

And that sucks. That’s all I can say. It’s wrong, and it sucks.