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Blaming The Victim Essay

1280 words - 6 pages

Blaming the Victim
Sarah Schwartz
Baker College
Comp 101

Blaming the Victim
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime (safehorizon.org). Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. I am that 1 of 4 woman who have experienced an abusive relationship. I was always asked why I didn’t leave or why I didn’t say something, instead of my abuser being asked why. Women are always asked why didn’t you leave, why did this happen, or why didn’t you say something. This can also be called victim blaming. Most of society ...view middle of the document...

Battered woman are often viewed by police, the prosecutor, judges, jurors, and probation/parole staff as responsible for the crimes committed against them; responsible either because battered woman are believed to have “provoke” the perpetrator into violence or because they are believed to have the power to avoid criminal assault though accommodating the perpetrator’s demands. (Hart, 1992).
Anti-sexism educator Jackson Katz, asks the important question that gets at the root of why domestic violence and other abuse remains a problem. What’s going on with men (ted.com)? In his presentation, “Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue”, he clearly states that domestic violence focuses on women’s issues, when they should focus on the man because they are the base for most of violence, domestic and other wise. He uses an example, from the feminist linguist Julia Penelope, showing that the way we think or the way that we use language conspires us to keep our attention off men (J. Katz).
John beats Mary.
Mary was beaten by John.
Mary was beaten.
Mary was battered
Mary is a battered woman.
As you can see after just one sentence, the focus is completely on Mary and John just disappears from the conversation. What I believe he is trying to prove with this speech is, that as a society we tend to blame or focus on the victim instead of on his/her abuser, which is wrong.
I have had my own personal experience with domestic violence, and for the longest time I blamed myself for what happened. Which is what most woman in an abusive relationship do (domesticabuseshelter.org). We tend to believe that we asked for it or we deserve it in some way. A lot of people asked me why I stayed or why I didn’t do something to change it. For me there was no answer, and it’s the same for a lot of women. We stay because we are scared for our safety or in most cases the safety of our children. Unless you have personally experienced a domestic situation, you will never understand why I stayed or how I got myself into the situation in the first place. Woman stay in in abusive relationships for a variety of reason, some are strictly economic and some woman feel they can’t survive in the world on their own (Ford, 2001, pg. 39). We as women fear the shame from society, the courts, and even our own families.
In 2008, my abusive relationship came to a destructive end. My father, my daughter and I were attacked by my ex-husband. We went through the process of making victim impact statements, testifying in court, and he still managed to walk away with fines and a restraining order. Within...

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