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imgr8's avatar

How much worse does "victim blaming" make a traumatic experience such as rape?

Asked by imgr8 (434points) September 2nd, 2012

I really have my heart set on writing an essay about victim blaming because its something that I don’t think gets talked about enough. Problem is, it really doesn’t and I’m having trouble finding any info so i’m hoping someone here has a little bit of insight or knows where I can find some more info.

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16 Answers

_Whitetigress's avatar

Maybe you can Google, “Rape Cases.” That’ll get you some hits.

woodcutter's avatar

There are so many variables, case by case that this will be impossible to answer really. Any cases in mind where this happened? Blaming the victim doesn’t help the victim, I’m sure, but if the victim did something that in retrospect was unwise that contributed to the bad situation there may be some merit. Sort of if I leave my car keys in the switch and the car goes missing was it my fault? Maybe, but I sure didn’t steal it someone else did, it’s their fault, right?
We have to assume that all people will not behave right like the way we would think. Rape is bad and its usually men doing it to women so I can’t see anyone blaming the victim unless there were circumstances that could have maybe prevented it if the victim was watching her ass.

Let the flaming begin.

imgr8's avatar

I guess I’m talking more cases where people say “well she was a slut, I doubt she even got raped she sleeps with everyone” or “why would he ever rape someone he can get anyone he wants” or even the cases where she shouldn’t have been dressing so slutty or something ridiculous like that. I’m talking cases where people are basically ignorant idiots, not something like “oh she shouldn’t have been walking in that dark alleyway alone at night”

_Whitetigress's avatar

A good case was Frimpong at UC Santa Barbara. Here is a short synopsis.

Recruited soccer player goes to a typical party, gets intimate with a girl. The girl claims rape, he is black, UCSB is about 90% white, she claims rape. He goes to an all white court (as in the jury was all white) he gets sentenced. There’s a whole bunch of stuff about the use of DNA as well.

If you ask me to sum it all up, this woman did have sex with him, but regretted it. They were drunk and it seemed to my conclusions that it was consensual and hazy at the same time. Alcohol I believe was involved.

Here is a starter link

There is a TON of stuff about him. I think this is what you might be looking for.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@imgr8 I just read your latest answer post. I think if you search “Rape and American Apparel Ads” you might find some good stuff. I think someone said something along the lines of, “If women don’t want to get raped, then why are they shown so slutty in fashion ads.”

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Fyrius's avatar

Here’s something relevant-ish. Not sure if it’s helpful, but I found it thought-provoking.
And there might be useful information in the comments.

Edit: ...which links through to and then to

Fyrius's avatar

P.S.: ...okay, that last link is going a bit overboard onto the psychotic feminazi side.
Maybe that’s also worth a mention in your essay. Or not. I don’t know.

Fifty Ways Prevent Yourself from Being a Rapist:
27. Read Ms. Magazine instead of Playboy
28. Stay away from pornography. Most rapists love it. That should be a danger sign.
29. Cut your hands off. You won’t be able to use them. That will help matters.
30. Cut your penis off. Or ask me to do it for you; I’ll be happy to, if you’re considering committing a rape.”

…Dear lady. Grass grows, birds fly, the sun shines, and men look at porn. The vast majority of men who do so are not rapists. And among the few men who don’t, you get priests who take advantage of altar boys.
And seriously, you want all men to mutilate themselves so they can’t rape anyone?
If you want to make the world a better place, calm the hell down and don’t lash out at innocent men. Heck, for that matter, try a less sexist approach. Women rape too!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Victim Blaming is a huge topic to cover in an essay, as @woodcutter points out. It might be a good idea to either focus on Victim Blaming from a variety of types of crime, or just hone in on a specific category.

For example, Stockholm Syndrome victims are often targets for Victim Blaming. The rape and/or murders of prostitutes is another. The list goes on.

If you are looking for sources specifically on rape, there are three listed on this site. You might also want to watch the documentary, Girl 27. It’s a sad story about a young, innocent girl caught up in the Hollywood glamour, and how it impacted the rest of her life.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Fyrius That 50 Ways To Prevent Yourself From Being A Rapist was supposed to be a parody of the “don’t get raped” emails that get sent around, and a parody of what people think feminists think…

Aethelflaed's avatar

Victim blaming is a huge, huge, huge problem. It’s not the only reason rape is so underreported, but it’s a big contributer, if not the biggest contributer. It’s why we call it the “second rape”. It’s so incredibly common for rape victims to find not just that the legal system is victim-blamey, but to find their support system abandon them. And hey, we have some victim-blaming right here, on this thread! Key search terms are going to be “rape myths”, “victim-blaming”, “slut-shaming”, “rape culture” (this is a really good, accessible intro to the theory of rape culture). Book-wise, you need Against Our Will, as it is the book that really starts off anti-rape theory, though it’s dated and many of the theories within it have fallen out of favor (especially Brownmiller’s thoughts on pornography). After that, get I Never Called It Rape.

BTW: are you in high school, or college? That might make a difference, sourcing-wise.

Judgements about victims and attackers in depicted rapes: A review
Community services for rape survivors: Enhancing psychological well-being or increasing trauma?
Cultural myths and supports for rape
Rape Victim Blaming as System Justification: The Role of Gender and Activation of Complementary Stereotypes (I would just follow the cites for that one)
Attitudinal antecedents of rape myth acceptance: A theoretical and empirical reexamination.
Rape Myths: in review
Nonstranger sexual aggression: A discriminant analysis of the psychological characteristics of undetected offenders

And then, after you’ve followed the bibliographies for those, just start typing things into Google Scholar, like rape victim-blaming, rape myths, rape culture, etc. And lemme know if you need any more help!

Kardamom's avatar

You might want to use the case of Elizabeth Smart. She was a 14 year old girl from Utah that was kidnapped out of her home in the middle of the night. Ultimately she was raped repeatedly by a man and his wife and was forced to travel with them and be a sex slave for about 9 months before she was found. Many people questioned the girl, asking why she didn’t flee from them when she was out in public with the couple. Her answer was that the couple had threatened to kill her family if she tried to escape and she believed him.

Here’s another case of a young woman in Southern California being Raped and videotaped while she was un-conscious, having been drugged by the rapist. Because the girl had had previous consensual sex with the rapist, she was blamed for “bringing on the attack.” This got a lot of air play out here, so some Googling will find you lots of info on the case.

Then there is the case of Jaycee Lee Duggard the young girl that was kidnapped from her neighborhood in Lake Tahoe, and was raped repeatedly, and kept a prisoner for 18 years before she was found. She too, had times in which she was in public, but she didn’t try to escape for the same reason as the other young lady. The captors repeatedly told her that they would kill her family (including the 2 children that she bore by the rapist/kidnapper) if she tried to tell or escape. But some people still said it was partly her fault because she didn’t try to escape. That just floors me. She lived 18 years of her life in fear that her family would be killed, that’s why she didn’t run away.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Not being familiar with the case of Elizabeth Smart that @Kardamom cited above, a quick search produced more information on the story. It also included this post. (@Kardamom, please don’t read it.) It’s the epitome of Victim Blame.

Kardamom's avatar

^^ Thanks for the warning, I shan’t (at your request) read it : )

That poor girl. She turned out pretty well though, I’ve seen her in interviews. She recently got married. I think she’s about 22 now.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

To be real, sometimes a woman’s lousy decisions or failure to properly assess her situational awareness makes her a victim, pointing that out can be a learning tool for other women, however blaming the woman for those failures, would make the situation worse.

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