“WARNING: Don’t leave your “For Sale” vehicles parked on Hereford Street overnight. Around 1am last night a Ford Festiva was set alight and totally destroyed.”
That innocuous Facebook status update from my local Police was the final straw for me.
We, as a community need to stop making excuses for criminal behaviour and for those who commit it.
Why are we now a society that dictates to victims how to behave rather than regulating those who break the law? How about instead of a warning not to park your cars on a public street overnight, we put out a warning advising criminals that the penalties will be stricter when the Police catch you.
Last week social media tycoon Kim Kardashian-West was robbed, while asleep, in her hotel room. It was the middle of the night and she was in her luxury apartment while her friends stayed out partying. Kim was bound, threatened and genuinely feared for her life. These men wielded guns and there are reports that one held a pistol against her temple while the others ransacked her room and stole her personal belongings. What an incredible invasion of personal space and safety. Every single details about the incident is disturbing, this is a woman who was ambushed in her bed. I understand that there is a certain level of mockery that exists whenever the Kardashian name is mentioned but at what point did we take away the basic right to feel safe in your apartment?
Karl Lagerfeld the creative director for Chanel who I have followed for years shockingly stated that “You cannot display your wealth and then be surprised that some people want to share it with you”, So Karl, let me get this right, because Kim shared images of her expensive jewellery on social media she deserves bandits to break into her room, threaten her with violence and take her jewellery? Basically in Karl language, “Share it with you” must be slang for armed robbery and I am just not dope enough to understand that?
Instead of supporting a 35 year old mother who was attacked while she slept, many are dismissive of her experience and instead place blame on her for publicly displaying her wealth. So, on that account I am entitled to break into the house next door and move in because it’s nicer than mine? Also, that lady driving the BMW three doors up, enjoy today because I like that car and I might steal it tonight. Why work for it when I can just take it?
How entirely ridiculous.
It isn’t just the famous who suffer victim blaming. We should be worried because even our politicians are increasing the mentality. In Senator Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech she stated that “women are making frivolous domestic violence claims against their partners and this in turn will lead to more murders”. That is victim shaming. Any person who is brave enough to report an incident of abuse to Police should be applauded and not criticised.
Recently, MMA fighter Julian Wallace (who is known as Julz the Jackal) published online nude, provocative photos of his former fiancée MMA fighter Jessy Jess as a reaction to her reporting assaults he had committed against her to the Police. In a NSW Court, Julian pleaded guilty to chocking and assaulting Jess. He chased her around their Sydney apartment kicking, punching and threatening her. He says she is to blame because, she bought home the wrong noodles. Do we honestly exist in a world whereby it is okay to assault your partner for bringing home the wrong cuisine?
Victim shaming is such a wide spreading issue, many times when sexual assaults are reported in the media, the community says the assault was a consequence of miscommunication. No, let me be perfectly clear, under zero circumstances is that true. The truth is, that unless you have clear, enthusiastic, verbal consent you are assaulting the person. It does not matter what the victim was wearing, whether they had drank alcohol or anything else, unless you hear the word yes, you are in breach of their personal right to say no. It is not the victim’s fault, it is solely the fault of the perpetrator.
We sit in Australian and judge the wider world. We pride ourselves on being morally bountiful and thankfully the majority of us believe the comments like “some girls like to be raped” made by Israeli Judge Nissim Yeshaya when providing his judgment on the rape of a 13 year old girl by four Palestinian boys are completing disgusting and horrifying. My question is, if we continue how long before we become a society that says “Maybe she was wearing a short skirt”, “maybe she told one of the boys she liked sex”, “Maybe it was just a miscommunication”.
We need to change something and soon, otherwise the next generation is going to believe that victim shaming is not only accepted, but encouraged. Our efforts should be taken away from finding a way the victim could have avoided the assault, but rather shifting the blame and teaching the assaulter not to initiate the incident in the first place.
Victim shaming is becoming too common and that is simply not acceptable. Any assault is not due to the victim deserving it, or bringing it upon themselves. No victim asks for it or should have known better. The perpetrator without a doubt should always know better and we as a society need to remind them of that.