Emily Walker 0

Reduce Victim Blaming Within Law Enforcement

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Blaming victims of sexual assault and rape perpetuates the notion that the assailant is not at fault. Victim blaming is the core of rape culture. Through victim blaming, stereotypes arise, making it seem as though people need to protect themselves from sexual assault/rape.

Evidence has shown that victim blaming occurs within law enforcement (Rich & Seffrin, 2014). Police officers taking reports ask questions that reinforce that the victim is at fault (e.g. what were you wearing?) With every question rape culture grows. Studies have shown that police officers who receive intensive sexual assault training are significantly less likely to victim blame (Darwinkel, Powell & Tidmarsh, 2013). Before training, officers exhibit more tendencies to agree with and perpetuate victim blaming attitudes. After training, the focus is in the best interest of the victim—they are not thought to be at fault (Darwinkel, Powell & Tidmarsh, 2013).

Victim blaming happens between both male and female officers(Wentz & Archbold, 2012). No gender is immune from adding to rape culture. For this reason, everyone in law enforcement is in need of intensive sexual assault training.

Minimization of victim blaming helps create a positive culture where sexual assault/rape is taken more seriously. It also allows victims to recover in a healthier way. We, the undersigned, petition for all areas of our law enforcement to help minimize victim blaming. We, the undersigned, want to see a positive change happen in our society, where rape culture is minimized by our law enforcement. We, the undersigned, want something to be done about the victim blaming that occurs within our law enforcement.

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