rape culture and victim blaming

According to the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, victim blaming can be defined as “a devaluing act that occurs when the victim(s) of a crime or an accident is held responsible — in whole or in part — for the crimes that have been committed against them”. It can appear in forms of negative social response from authoritative organizations (lawyers, police, etc. ) or from the victim’s social circle (friends, family, school, etc. ) towards the crime that has occurred. In our case, the crime that has occurred-or, more accurately, might occur-is rape.

The exam question subtextually sends this message: “If you do not want to be raped, do not behave this way. If you do not behave this way, rape will not happen. ” If we want to stop rape, should we not, instead, teach rapists about the wrongness of nonconsensual sex (sexual intercourse while under the influence of alcohol does NOT count as consensual sex, explained in the next paragraph)? If we keep telling our women to cover up and avoid ‘trouble’, we are making no attempt to stop the assaulter. We cannot constantly tell women to run away when we are making no, or little, attempt to educate the men.

We constantly give conditions to rape: if she was drunk, walking around alone at night, wearing clothing deemed ‘provocative’, etc. then it is not rape. In some cases, the victim is in a drunken state and therefore is unable to give proper consent. This is when they are taken advantage of and are raped. However, when someone is drunk they are unaware of their surroundings and therefore unaware of their actions. We cannot blame someone for getting raped while drunk. I agree that they should not get drunk in the first place, but they are not responsible for another individual’s actions.

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