11.3.21

"Women, Be Careful" - How About We Stop Victim Blaming


Sarah Everard was being careful. She did everything us women do every day to keep ourselves safe. She was on the phone to her boyfriend for a lot of her journey. She was wearing trainers. Walked a brightly lit route which had plenty of CCTV. She was being as careful as she could possibly have been.

"I wonder if she was drunk"

"Why didn't she get a taxi?"

"She was stupid to be wearing headphones"

How about... IT WAS NOT SARAH'S FAULT

Stop victim blaming. All these suggestions that it was Sarah's fault in any way are ludicrous, and very damaging to our society. This way of continuing the narrative of blaming the victim just perpetuates the myth of women being responsible for what others do around them. 


Anger? You know what, it's not even anger any more. It's tiredness. Tiredness of being blamed for being the victim. Tiredness of being blamed for other people's actions. Tiredness of having to prepare our whole days in advance so we know where we'll be, safe places to go, and escape points of every area. 

Most of the things us women do to keep ourselves safe, we do almost unconsciously now. Crossing the road if there's a parked car with someone in it on the side we're at. Walking the long way round to avoid alleyways, woods and dark tunnels. Holding our keys, tightly gripped between our fingers, in case we need to use them in self-defence. Locking the car from the inside whilst driving. The list goes on. The list never ends.

How about we blame the perpetrator instead of the victim. How about, instead of saying "I bet she was drunk", "I bet she was wearing provocative clothing", "she was asking for it", we start saying "don't attack women",  "don't kill women", "don't rape women", "he was to blame".

The narrative is always the same. Why are we passing the blame to the individual, to the victim, and not the offender?

5 comments:

  1. Indeed, where's all the messages to the men that think attacking women is fine?

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  2. You are absolutely right! I could not agree more.

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  3. It's good to see that people are waking up to this rhetoric.

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  4. Totally agree! This needs to be talked about more!

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  5. They've been doing this for years - glad to see that people are no longer standing for it. CRIMINALS are to blame for crime. I actually had to tell a police officer that very phrase some years ago at a community forum/meeting. It makes me so angry.

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