What is victim-blaming?
Victim blaming refers to partially or entirely blaming the victim of a crime committed against them. If any crime or wrongful act occurs, society is quick to blame the victim of the crime. The victim is held responsible solely for the harm that befell them. Victim-blaming attitudes disregard the victim/survivor of a crime and make it harder for them to come forward and report the abuse. All these incidents and attitudes of people affect the victim/survivor a lot. They feel unsafe, uncomfortable, fearful, guilty, and ashamed. They do not come forward and talk to anyone. Due to victim-blaming the survivor and victim start self-blaming which causes mental and physical problems. People may suffer from PTSD, depression, and stress. If the victim is a female, then no matter what the actual reason behind the crime is, she is WRONG.
Victim-Blaming of Women
Pakistan is a male-dominant, patriarchal society. Females in Pakistan face victim-blaming on large scale. They also suffer from many difficulties and challenges related to sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse. Females usually do not report such crimes due to the self-respect and dignity of their families. In Pakistan, people blame rape victims by questioning their dressing and appearance. According to them if a female is wearing revealing clothes, then they will surely get raped. They should have to cover their selves properly and do not go outside at the midnight. They publicly examine a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history. According to people with a typical mindset say, “She must have provoked him”. People here do not blame the act/ crime and the abuser/rapist. Women of all ages and social statuses become the victim of such crimes including minor girls, adult girls, young girls, married women, and even old age women too. They are a victim of such crimes no matter what they are wearing and where they are. They get blamed by this cruel society for the act. People do not show empathy, kindness, and compassion. They degrade and mistreat the victim. Also, they consider them bad and characterless girls. Rather than supporting such victims and helping them in coping with trauma, people accuse them which is a totally unethical and inhuman act.
Silencing the Women
Women cannot live independently in this country. They cannot walk freely on roads without getting harassed. They cannot go on a trip/tour alone. They face many restrictions and barriers to survive in this society. No one blames or questions the abuser and rapist. Women and girls will not have the freedom they are entitled to including to study, work or live until the government takes any action to protect their rights. Recently A 3rd-grade girl was raped by a boy in her school. And the teacher threatened her to not tell anyone about the incident. The school administration also threatened the girl’s parents and told them to remain silent. How a 3rd-grade minor girl wearing a school uniform provoked a boy?
Blaming someone is very easy but it is the most pathetic thing to do. A rape victim can never get justice until & unless we change our approach & criteria from an ‘ideal’ victim to just a victim. Why do we think that an ideal rape victim should be a pious, religious, embodiment of all good characteristics & high morality? People will find mistakes of the victim but will never say wrong to the crime/act of abuse and the abuser. In Pakistan people kind of support the abuser and rapist. It is time to change our mentality and ourselves because as PEOPLE we are ruining thousands of lives by just victim-blaming.