Victim Blaming

What exactly is victim-blaming and why do we need to learn about it?

Victim-blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. Domestic violence victims are often blamed in direct and indirect ways by their: 

    • family/friends/co-workers/other social connections 
    • institutions/systems (law enforcement, courts, social services, etc.) 
    • service providers (health professionals, human services, etc.)
    • Sometimes survivors even blame themselves for what happened to them.

Victim blaming can make it harder for survivors of domestic violence to heal and deal with their trauma. A victim-blaming culture can also make current victims feel as if their abuse is their fault, and might make them less likely to seek help.

So how do we avoid victim blaming?

  • Remember that abuse is a choice the abuser makes
  • It is the responsibility of the person who harms to choose NOT to abuse 
  • It is never anyone’s responsibility to avoid being abused 
  • Everyone deserves to feel safe and valued in their relationships-regardless of their past, their behavior, etc. 

 

If you want to learn more…
Chanel Miller’s story 
This is a great article that highlights examples of victim blaming and some of the effects that it can have on the victim.