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to think that rape is NOT the only crime

(105 Posts)
Justforlaughs Tue 14-Jan-14 16:04:10

that blames the victim? I keep reading this and think that actually most victims of crime are blamed to an extent. Did you leave your windows unlocked? Yes, then we're not paying out on the insurance for the burglary. Why were you walking down a dark alley with an expensive mobile phone on display? - of course you're asking to get mugged. Did you give someone else your password? Of course you are the victim of fraud. Did you watch your suitcase every second in the airport? No, then you allowed someone to plant those drugs in your case. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that it happens. I don't understand it when people say that this only happens in rape cases.

SPsMrLoverManSHABBA Tue 14-Jan-14 16:07:29

You can't compare those to rape so YABU.

Justforlaughs Tue 14-Jan-14 16:10:08

So what crimes would you compare to rape to say that "Rape is the ONLY crime where the victim gets blamed"? You might as well say that "rape is the only crime at all" or "rape is the only crime that matters"

ChunkyPickle Tue 14-Jan-14 16:10:16

I think they mean once it goes to court - in burglaries for instance you don't get the barristers interrogating the victim on if they'd ever given anything away. Muggings if the victim had ever given money to people on the street, whereas the victim's sexual history and behaviour is seen as fair game in a rape trial.

SqutterNutBaush Tue 14-Jan-14 16:13:36

Might be something to do with the fact that rape is quite possibly one of the most traumatic crimes a person can fall victim to.

Blaming the victim belittles their trauma.


MelanieRavenswood Tue 14-Jan-14 16:15:03

As ChunkyPickle says - sometimes people comment on how much the victim was to blame in all the circumstances described in the OP, but when it comes to court or sentencing, there isn't this tendency to try and prove the victim was a willing participant.

EntWife Tue 14-Jan-14 16:15:19

There was a thread on this topic a couple of weeks ago. Most people spectacularly missed the point.

we do blame the victims of crime for being victims. As much as I have a perfect right to walk naked down my high street without being raped or being seen to invite rape, so do I have a perfect right to leave my door unlocked and my purse and mobile phone on display without being told I contributed to my loss.

CaptainHindsight Tue 14-Jan-14 16:15:58

Exactly what SP said.

Justforlaughs Tue 14-Jan-14 16:16:16

Point taken chunky

DizzyZebra Tue 14-Jan-14 16:17:05

Well, you are right about those things, but the big difference isthe criminals in those cases would still be charged the same. Burglary is burglary and they will be charged as such, no matter how many people say "but you left the window open".

With rape cases, the rapist is often held less responsible or not responsuble at all.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 14-Jan-14 16:17:48

I think it is the only crime where the victim gets blamed for the crime EXISTING rather than it happening to them. So, the person leaves their window open doesn't cause the burglary, just causes it to happen to them. Rape seems to be blamed on the victim like the rapist would have been a perfectly nice person had the victim not been drunk or wearing a short skirt. Everyone accepts that a burglar was going to rob someone but people seem to blame the victim, and women in general, for the crime of rape existing at all.

SqutterNutBaush Tue 14-Jan-14 16:18:35

I don't actually think you do have the right to walk down a street naked thigh hmm

I see what you mean OP but rape is a whole different category to any type of theft so the victim blaming (which does take place in most crimes as you rightly point out) has a much more severe impact.

WilsonFrickett Tue 14-Jan-14 16:18:37

If you can point me in the direction of a case where the victim of burgalry was cross-examined on their housing habits, door-locking habits, whether or not they'd been down the pub that night, whether they may have led their burglar on then I might take your points seriously.

Also, insurance companies are not the law - while I think it's poor for them not to pay out if they find victims of crime in any way at fault, it is wrong to conflate that with the criminal justice system and society at large.

Just cos Direct Line says it's so, doesn't mean it has any bearing on life in general and I prefer not to set my moral compass to financial services companies' whims.

Justforlaughs Tue 14-Jan-14 16:18:43

I missed that thread entwife but that is the point I was trying to make

NoArmaniNoPunani Tue 14-Jan-14 16:23:08

Your op reminds me of this

GlitzAndGiggles Tue 14-Jan-14 16:25:55

The sad truth is we're no longer safe to do these things and I doubt things will improve

Joysmum Tue 14-Jan-14 16:26:40

The victims of crime are never to blame, but common sense dictates that many of us are more at risk of becoming victims than others if we haven't taken sensible precautions to protect ourselves and our properties.

Risk management should be practiced by all to limit the risks of becoming a victim.

I wish we could all live without fear of crime but we need to be realistic.

coppertop Tue 14-Jan-14 16:26:44

No-one tells a victim of burglary, "Well perhaps he thought you wanted him to break into your house. After all, you didn't tell him not to!"

Kewcumber Tue 14-Jan-14 16:31:49

rape is one of the few crimes I know where the victim is rarely seen as a witness (or at least not a relaible one).

How many times do you hear people say about rape "well the were no witneses so its just her word against his". If you saw someone stealing your purse and you reported it - no-one would say "well did anyone see him steal your purse" "yes me" "no I mean someone else, you might be lying"

Kewcumber Tue 14-Jan-14 16:34:35

EVeryone should be mindful of their own safety and most people are. But I don't so see topless men in shorts being told to cover up because other men can't possibly be expected to control themselves at the tempting sight.

I doubt many rapes are the result of women wandering around naked in public though hmm if thats what you think.

Kewcumber Tue 14-Jan-14 16:37:25

If you give someone else your password/PIN you're not a victim of fraud. As well as being an idiot you are presumably agreeing for them to access your accounts so you would just be arguing about whether they took more than you intended them to.

I'm not even sure that would be a crime.

Stellaface Tue 14-Jan-14 16:38:11

I have neighbours who had an expensive car nicked. It was evening, they were home (not sure if upstairs or not), the burglar jumped over the back fence and in through the closed but unlocked patio doors, lifted the keys and then drove the car away.

We heard about this through a community council meeting. At the time, the insurance were refusing to pay out due to doors being unlocked - despite it being daytime (about 7pm) and the family being home. Not sure if that changed but they haven't got a replacement car yet (6 months on) so I'm assuming not. Apparently the police were dubious as to whether they'd be able to catch anyone or convict them if they did as the house was unlocked and the keys unsecured, despite the family being mere feet away! They passed out the advice that we should all keep our doors locked at all times and always hide our keys. Everyone at this meeting agreed that it was definitely our neighbours' fault for leaving the door unlocked and the keys accessible. Tell me, how many people actually hide their keys when they get home?? I now do, out of paranoia, but previously left them sitting on the stairs...

So if I nip out to see my husband in the garage, about five feet away, do I have to lock my front door? Or if I leave our back door open in the summer whilst I'm in the house? Apparently so, otherwise I'll be at fault for inviting the crime.

DontmindifIdo Tue 14-Jan-14 16:50:18

I think your point about burglaries misses the point that often in rape, there is a question to if a crime has even taken place. In your example, someone might say it's the home owner's fault they were a victim of a crime, but leaving the window open doesn't make people claim the homeowner gave their possessions away.

Mind you, I do agree that others victim blame too, I used to live in SE London when there was a spate of stabbings, there were usually lots of people commenting that "they must have done something to deserve it" "they must have been involved in gangs/drugs" - young men as victims of viloent crime are usually seen as equally criminal.

WilsonFrickett Tue 14-Jan-14 16:56:27

But Stella, again it's not up to the insurance companies (or indeed the police) to determine if a crime has taken place. FWIW I would also disagree with the consensus at your meeting - it wasn't the owner's fault someone decided to burgle them.

manicinsomniac Tue 14-Jan-14 16:56:40

YANBU, victim blaming is also wrong.

I think people are also belittling the effect of theft. It might not have an impact on some but then, for some rape is not traumatising either.

When I was raped I knew the guy, I didn't fear that I was going to be injured or killed, I wasn't in my own house and I got something happy out of it (my daughter). It was a horrible experience but it hasn't stayed with me. When I was burgled I felt violated and sick. Somebody had been into my personal space and taken my irreplaceable personal things. I didn't know if they were still in the house and I was terrified that there'd be a man with a weapon in the next room I walked into. I still wake up at night sweating and shaking because I've heard a small noise next door. I'd say I was traumatised by that.

My experience may be unusual but it doesn't make it wrong.

I don't think crimes should be compared as different things have a different effect on different people. And it is always the criminal's fault.

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