Stop blaming the victim

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One of our readers proposed to share this video about sexual violence*. I personally find it quite interesting. Nevertheless I questioned myself about the impact it may have and most of all if the proposed approach will reach its goal.

It seems clear that the main purpose is to raise awareness about the self-evident fact that victims are not to be blamed of the violence they undergo. Yet, the more open (i.e. through the verbal channel) and frequent message conveyed in the video is that women are guilty of sexual violence. The words used are ‘it’s my/your fault’.

Only in the last seconds of the video it is clearly stated the main awareness-raising message: ‘stop blaming the victim’. Therefore those who don’t see the video until the end may reinforce or acquire the wrong message.

The video makes use of irony and even humour to push the audience to reflect. But again, this subtle irony may not be clearly understood by those who see the video and lead to wrong interpretations and misconceptions. Moreover it may reinforce the idea that ‘it’s my/your fault’.

I invite all readers to express their ideas and opinions regarding the video. It would be very interesting to have different perspectives and all together analyse the pros and cons of this type of message.

Extra

Pages providing information about sexual violence perpetrated by men against women and men’s violence against women:rape and feminism

World Health Organisation

UN Women

World’s Women Reports

Follow this link to read the article ‘5 Ways We Can Teach Men Not to Rape’ by Zerlina Maxwell.

* WHO definition of sexual violence “is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.” (Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/)

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