I have seen it in the media. I have heard it. I have seen survivors believe it. And sadly, I have been guilty of it...
Victim blaming is a devaluing act where the victim of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment is held as wholly or partially responsible for the wrongful conduct committed against them.
It seems like this would be something that we as a society would be more aware of, somehow more evolved as to avoid this misrepresentation, but, unfortunately, victim blaming is alive and well. It is ever-present in casual conversations, the media, and even from survivors who have been made to believe the lie.
What victim blaming looks like
The following are examples of what blaming statements look like. While the list can be almost infinite, these provide a sense of how easy it is for blaming to be perpetuated. Let's explore the following blaming statements a little closer to discover the underlying truth in these lies.
"They both have issues. They both are at fault."
We all have problems. However, when it comes to domestic violence, there is almost always a primary aggressor. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, and that behavior originates from somewhere. In turn, the victim also establishes a pattern of coping with the abuse, whether healthy or unhealthy (think substance use, self-defense, etc.). The Center for Relational Abuse Awareness notes the danger in presuming mutual abuse as it trivializes the abuse and