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AIBU Victim blaming

(118 Posts)
rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:10:27

Why is this concept only starting to catch on for rape and sexual assault.

We have two big big police campaigns running in my City at the moment that i'm taking issue with.

Don't leave valuables in your car.

Leave your lights on if your going out close to Xmas.

Why should i have to take these steps to protect my belongings? is it reasonable advice? or is this another form of victim blaming?

bobbywash Tue 17-Dec-13 13:11:54

it's reasonable advice.

It's not victim blaming. There are scrotes about, everyone knows it why give them easy targets

comedycentral Tue 17-Dec-13 13:13:50

I don't think your examples are victim blaming. We can't say every preventative message is victim blaming as it's meaning will dilute. Lets leave that for when we hear really stupid and offensive victim blaming.... 'He/she was asking for it sort'.

Do I make any sense? I think I need a cuppabrew !

GinGinGin Tue 17-Dec-13 13:14:25

I think the difference op is that "valuables" etc are just "things" or "objects" - they are owned by someone. A person isn't a "thing" so it shouldn't be upto the victim of a rape to have prevented it. Not sure I'm making a lot of sense though, hopefully someone else will explain it better grin

lougle Tue 17-Dec-13 13:14:36

Prevention is better than cure.

The difference is that the advice to women with regards rape is 'make yourself less desirable as a woman' - it's intrinsic to women themselves.

The advice regarding theft/burglary is 'make your property less worthwhile to attack' - there is no intrinsic value attached to a house or a car.

rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:14:46

"There are scrotes about, everyone knows it why give them easy targets"

Following the argument through

There are rapists about, why do young girls get drunk?

projectbabyweight Tue 17-Dec-13 13:16:42

Agree one's talking about women themselves, the other about property. There's a difference a mile wide.

rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:16:45

Ok, some of that makes sense - but i'd argue as someone who has been burgled - that the emotional distress is very significant.

comedycentral Tue 17-Dec-13 13:17:21

Well surely you know why!!!! Is this just a debate set to make us all hysterical?

rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:02


I'm not saying there isn't a difference, that isn't my point. It's just the notion and implementation of victim blaming.

No wonder you were burgled, you didn't leave your lights on.

TheGhostOfPortoPast Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:08

With rape it is victim blaming because it is not that a woman is drunk, or wearing a short skirt, or wearing a burka and stone cold sober that makes the difference as to whether they are raped or not. Most women are raped by someone they know.

scaevola Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:42

The problem is that there is no one sort of rape.

Advice to avoid violent stranger attack is definitely worthwhile, as is advice about not leaving your drink unattended, knowing how you'll get home etc. And DC of both ages need to learn about this before they start going out alone in their teens. But there are no prevantative measures that cover every rape scenario, and good ideas (wear shoes you can run in if you have to walk home) all too easily gets conflated with stupid ideas (what you wear makes you more likely to be raped).

Victim blaming is wrong.

But so is avoiding the provision of (any) anti-crime information.

rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:19:40

comedycentral to clarify i dont intend this to be a debate about the differences between rape and theft.

I arguing that rape is an area of crime that has seen very progressive leaps around the notion of victim blaming - is it not reasonable to extend this to other areas?

comedycentral Tue 17-Dec-13 13:19:41

I think you can take reasonable steps to avoid burglary. Big locks, secure windows etc. I've been burgled too. I thought we took all good precautions but police had lots of advice.

GinGinGin Tue 17-Dec-13 13:20:22

I'm pretty sure though op that the emotional distress of someone who's been raped is far, far greater than someone who had their TV stolen. Unless I've misunderstood you?

lougle Tue 17-Dec-13 13:21:46

"No wonder you were burgled, you didn't leave your lights on."

NO, simply that burglars who have 'come clean' have said 'if I was still burgling houses the one's I'd go for first are the ones which look like everyone's out.'

Car thieves have said 'if I was still breaking into cars, I'd look inside first to see if there's anything worth nicking.'

Rapists don't work like that. Most rapes are not 'stranger rapes' and those that are, the woman is simply 'wrong place, wrong time.'

rpitchfo Tue 17-Dec-13 13:21:58

gingingin yes you are misunderstanding rape was given as an example of increasing awareness of victim blaming. Is there scope to widen the notion and awareness of victim blaming in other areas.

projectbabyweight Tue 17-Dec-13 13:22:42

Yes, and it's that intrinsic difference that means you cant apply the same ideas to both types of crime.

TheGhostOfPortoPast Tue 17-Dec-13 13:22:54

Glosswatch did some good blog posts on this subject.

comedycentral Tue 17-Dec-13 13:23:11

OK I see what your saying. Rape is very emotive though. I am sick of the victim blaming around it, it riles me.

I do think it's reasonable to dish out advice on how to avoid burglary and I don't think its victim blaming. You wouldnt hear a judge blaming someone for leaving their lights off of for having crappy windows. But you might hear them questioning the 'victim status' of a raped individual because of their appearance, outfit or behaviour.

wetaugust Tue 17-Dec-13 13:23:54

Before this thread goes way off track into a debate about rape.....

The Police have a statutory dury to prevent crime, so are just fulfilling that duty - not blaming anyone.

LurcioLovesFrankie Tue 17-Dec-13 13:24:06

Reasons why your analogy is crap:
1) Because I am a person, and therefore intrinsically more important than a TV, or car stereo, or any other object, even the bleedin' koh-i-noor diamond.
2) Because no matter how I dress, I cannot disguise the fact that I have a vagina.

KhunZhoop Tue 17-Dec-13 13:24:44

People are not objects. Objects are not people. Ergo, the same conventions do not apply to each.

Hope that helps, OP.

TheGhostOfPortoPast Tue 17-Dec-13 13:25:01

Very good analysis

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Tue 17-Dec-13 13:26:44

I think this is a very interesting notion

however you are going to get de-railed by people jumping up and down screaming how dare you compare rape to a broken car window

you will - that is how this thread will go.

but you have made me stop in my tracks, I am still thinking about this compare and contrast

preventative measures with regards to rape - from my reading on mumsnet, this is never really talked about because it is seen as victim blaming

I see where you are coming from - if one were to use this train of thought therefore

why should I read posters which say "don't leave valuables in car"?

should that poster not say " stealing things from cars is not acceptable, you are in a cctv area and you will be prosecuted"

reinforcing a prevailing culture of non - crime acceptance rather than a prevailing culture of 'victims beware'

.......still thinking and its not often that I have to do that on mumsnet these days ;)

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