Blaming Rape Victims in the United States Essay

Blaming Rape Victims in the United States Essay

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Victim blaming occurs when a victim of a crime is held responsible, partly if not entirely, for the wrongful act committed against them. In the United States, victim blaming is most prevalent in circumstances of rape and other sexual assaults towards women. This stems from being a society that views women as lesser beings, as evidenced by unequal pay, under representation in the media, and an inadequate presence in government. When women are viewed as lesser beings and are not respected, violence against women prevails. The trend of blaming victimized women for the crimes committed against them exemplifies the broad issue of hatred towards the female gender in the United States.
It is important to understand the root of the problem before taking a look at the results. Rape is a widespread epidemic in the United States. Rape is defined as “the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercouse” (Dictionary.com). Basically, rape is non consensual sex. One in every six females will be raped in their lifetime and in a single year 300,000 women are raped. Yet only one in six rape victims will come forward to press charges (Tjaden, Theonnes). This raises the question: Why do rape victims fear coming forth? The answer, of course, is victim blaming. In theory, everyone knows that rape is never the victim’s fault, yet there are countless circumstances of women having to contend with judgement and criticism when they come out as victims of sexual assault. Earlier this year a navy midshipman reluctantly admitted to be sexually assaulted by three peers and was subjected to three days of “hostile” cross examination. At Patrick Henry college, two female victims came forward with accusations of sexual assa...


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...ry.com, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

Tjaden, Patricia, and Nancy Thoennes. "PUBLICATIONS." NCJRS Abstract. National Institute of Justice, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Dvorak, Petula. "Victim-blaming persists in campus sexual assaults." Washington Post 24 Feb. 2014. Global Issues In Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

Lah, Kyung. "Montana Judge Defends Former Teacher's One-month Sentence for Rape of Teen." CNN. Cable News Network, 04 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

Strasser, Annie-Rose. "CHARTS: How Unequal Pay Is Even More Unequal For Some Women." ThinkProgress RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

"Reporting Rates | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network." Reporting Rates | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. RAINN, n.d. Web. 10 Mar.

"The wrong kind of attention." Spectator [Hamilton, Ontario] 6 Apr. 2011: A16. Global Issues In Context. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

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