The Anatomy of Victim Blaming

victimblaming3A key component to understanding the plight of victims of Human Trafficking is understanding victim blaming. It is defined as “when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them.” Many people believe that people who have been trafficked are working on their own free will and do not need to be rescued. They believe that they’ve done something to deserve the situation they are in. They believe that they are not worthy of help.

Why Do We Blame?

Quite simply, we do this to disassociate ourselves from the victim. We do not want to believe that these things can happen to anyone. We feel safer when we convince ourselves that the victim was involved in creating their own circumstances. We want to believe that this couldn’t just happen

Who Benefits from Victim Blaming?

  • The perpetrators
  • The traffickers
  • Those who profit from suffering

These are the people that are benefiting from of this type of thinking. Victim blaming lessens their responsibility and allows them to continue because no one is paying attention to their role if they are busy holding the victims accountable for the situation.

Break the Cycle

Hold traffickers accountable for their actions. Hold Johns accountable for their actions. Free those that are held against their will. There is something that you can do. By breaking the cycle of victim blaming that is prevalent in our culture you are taking a step towards helping a victim.

If you suspect that someone may be a victim of human trafficking call a help line immediately. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888. Text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733).

artwork by Beiibis

1 Comment

  1. Also what is not helping the situation – is when a victim experiences Stockholm Syndrome. This is when a victim that has been in a trafficking situation for a period of time empathizes with their captor. So if a rescue does occur, they sometimes fight the very people that are trying to free them because their mindset is in identifying with the traffickers. They are brainwashed by the trafficking culture. This then perpetuates the blaming of the victim because to someone who doesn’t know, it looks like they do not want to be rescued, when in fact they are so abused mentally and emotionally, can’t see the help that is there.

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