Discuss the impact of victim blaming.

• Course Text: Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology

o Chapter 1, “What is Victimology?” (pp. 14–18)
o Chapter 2, “The Rediscovery of Crime Victims” (pp.36-45, for review)
o Chapter 3, “Victimization in the United States: An Overview”
o Chapter 5, “Victims’ Contributions to the Crime Problem” (pp. 131-144 and 155-160)
o Box 10.2, “The System’s Shortcomings From a Victim’s Point of View” (pp. 308-311)
• Article: Walter, V., Hill, A. M., & Ross, B. (2010, January 22). 16-year-old Starbucks barista sues over ‘sex demands’ at work. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Teen/teenage-starbucks-barista-sues-sex-demands-work/story?id=9631145
• Website: The Voices and Faces Project: Survivor Stories
Optional Resource
• Restorative Justice Online. (n.d.). Victims’ role in the criminal justice system. Retrieved August 18, 2010, from

Impact of Victim Blaming

Victims are often criticized and blamed for their own victimization. The act of blaming a victim for his or her own victimization is referred to as victim blaming. This blaming can come from many sources including the offender, society, family members, health care providers, and criminal justice professionals. Often, victim blaming occurs in the form of negative attitudes, behaviors, and practices that question the credibility of the victim. For instance, rape victims may be questioned by criminal justice professionals about how they were dressed, their sexual history, and even if they were turned on by the assault.

Consider how it would feel, as a victim, to be blamed for your own victimization. How would being blamed or criticized impact your decision to seek help? Now think about how you would feel if the criminal justice system that was meant to protect you actually blamed you instead.

To Prepare for this Discussion:

• Review the assigned pages of Chapter 5 in the course text, Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Consider the impact of victim blaming on the treatment and services rendered to victims.

• Review the vignette in Box 5.3, “Prof Calls for Crackdown on Crime Victims” (located on p. 141 of your course text). Reflect on the impact that victim blaming may have on the likelihood for victims to receive restitution.

• Review the case study in Box 10.2, “The System’s Shortcomings From a Victim’s Point of View.” Think about how victim blaming might impact the victim and the outcome of the case.

• Review the website, “The Voices and Faces Project: Survivor Stories,” and the article, “16-year-old Starbucks Barista Sues Over ‘Sex Demands’ at Work.” Consider how the perception of the victims impacted the treatment and/or services they received.

• Select one of the victim blaming case studies, stories, or articles you reviewed for this Discussion, or find a case on the Internet that involved victim blaming.

• Consider how victim blaming might influence the treatment or services the victim receives and the outcomes of the case.
With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a description of a case in which victim blaming occurred. Then, explain how victim blaming might influence the treatment or services he or she receives and the outcomes of the case. Be specific.

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