Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender-based Violence What is victim blaming in the context of gender-based violence?

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  • Moeesha Girdhar

    Victim Blaming is the practice of shaming survivors of gender-based violence. It refers to the inclination to blame victims partially or fully for the harm they have suffered, rather than the offender or the systemic causes that lead to the violence. Victim blaming in the context of gender-based violence refers to circumstances in which persons who have experienced abuse, harassment, or assault because of their gender are exposed to criticism, scepticism, or scrutiny over their actions, choices, or behaviours. When it comes to gender-based violence, several factors lead to some people blaming the victim. Victim blaming can be influenced by pre-existing prejudices and biases regarding gender roles and behaviours. Some people cling to old gender standards and may assume that particular acts, choices, or appearances invite violence. Empathy is essential for understanding survivors’ experiences. Some people, however, may lack empathy or struggle to comprehend the consequences of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence views can be shaped by societal attitudes, cultural norms, and media depictions. There may be a tendency in some cultures or societies to point fingers at survivors instead of holding abusers accountable. Cultural narratives that encourage victim blaming, such as “she asked for it” and “boys will be boys,” help to normalise victim blaming attitudes. Some effective tactics and initiatives that have been shown to reduce this practise involve promoting responsible reporting and media representations of gender-based abuse, shifting the emphasis from victim blaming to survivor support and empowerment, and implementing comprehensive educational programmes that promote knowledge and comprehension of gender-based violence, consent, positive interpersonal interactions, and so on.

    Thus, reducing victim blaming in situations of gender-based violence necessitates a multifaceted strategy incorporating a variety of tactics and efforts. While progress is being made, many more changes must be made.

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