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Victim blaming

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Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act are held entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them.[1] People familiar with victimology are much less likely to see the victim as responsible.[2] There is a greater tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery in cases where victims and perpetrators know one another.[3]


William Ryan coined the phrase "blaming the victim" in his 1971 book Blaming the Victim. In the book, Ryan described victim blaming as an ideology used to justify racism and social injustice against black people in the United States.

Fighting word

The term is also used in feminist circles as a fighting word to the feminist viewpoint, that victim is allways a woman and offender allways a man. Victim blaming is part of a larger group of fighting words such as backlash, date rape and others. Thus, for example critique of feminism is defamated as hate speech and any counter-arguments denigrated as derailing. The term victim blaming is linked with the term "rape culture" because it is one of the basic statements of feminist ideology, that there was a male culture of oppression against women as a collective, inter alia, to rape based. For example, speaking of victim blaming to the reality of false accusation to deny the alleged rape were not opposed to it.


  1. George Kent: Blaming the Victim[webarchive], UN Chronicle Online Edition
  2. Fox, K. A.; Cook, C. L. (2011). "Is Knowledge Power? The Effects of a Victimology Course on Victim Blaming". Journal of Interpersonal Violence
  3. Bieneck, S.; Krahe, B. (2010). "Blaming the Victim and Exonerating the Perpetrator in Cases of Rape and Robbery: Is There a Double Standard?". Journal of Interpersonal Violence 26 (9): 1785-97

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