Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is rape a Hate Crime?

Why people blame the rape victim

A victim blame bibliography

Rape is the only crime of which the victim must prove his or her innocence.
"Perhaps we can't see the victim as innocent, because by so doing we would have to admit that similar things might happen even to us. We blame the victim in order to feel more in control." Anyara

What is victim blame?
"Victim blaming is holding the victim responsible for what has happened to her/him. One way in which victim blaming is perpetuated is through rape myths. Rape myths allow us to blame the victim and are often common false beliefs."
Belief in a just world
Only 2% of accused rapists are convicted.  In contrast FBI studies indicate that only 2% of all rape reports are false.  "Low conviction rates result from insufficient evidence to prosecute, dismissal of trial due to technicalities and reluctance of victims to testify. For these reasons, low conviction rates do not imply false reporting."

One of the main theories behind victim blaming is the just world hypothesis. "Individuals that have a strong belief in a just world can have this belief challenged when they encounter a victim of random misfortune such as a rape victim. The individual wants to believe that the world is a safe, just place where people get what they deserve and deserve what they get.

Even when evidence suggests otherwise, the individual is very reluctant to give up this belief that the world is not just.

In the face of contradicting evidence, research suggests (Kleinke and Meyer, 1996) that people with a high belief in a just world will do one of two things: either they will try to eliminate the suffering of the innocent victims or else they will derogate them for their fate. Since it is impossible to reverse the crime of rape, and thus relieve the victim of her suffering, the rape victim is often subjected to derogation and blame. In this manner, the person who believes in a just world can maintain this belief as there is no longer a suffering person, but a woman who deserves her misfortune."

 No one wonders what the victim of a mugging or violent murder did to deserve it.  Rape is a crime of violence, power and control.  No one "deserves" it.

What can you expect from a survivor?
Behaviour characteristics involved in Rape Trauma Syndrome. paste this link into a browser

" Two main styles of emotion were shown by the victims within the first few hours after the rape: expressed and controlled. In the expressed style. the victim demonstrated such feelings as anger, fear and anxiety. They were restless during the interview, becoming tense when certain questions were asked, crying or sobbing when describing specific acts of the assailant, smiling in an anxious manner when certain issues were stated. In the controlled style, the feelings of the victim were masked or hidden, and a calm, composed or subdued affect could be noted. "

Why do rape victims feel guilty for being the victim of a crime?
The difference between guilt (meant for a perpetrator) and shame (felt by victims and confused with guilt)
An exercise from the Courage to Heal

If someone verbally or physically harasses a rape victim or survivor it may be considered a hate crime or hate speech.  For immediate victim assistance call 206-350-4283 or 1 800-879-6682  24 hours a day or fill out this online hate crime report form.

"Last year the American Psychological Association issued the report Hate Crimes Today: An Age-Old Foe in Modern Dress. In the report Dr. Jack McDevitt, a criminologist, stated, "Hate crimes are message crimes. They are different from other crimes in that the offender is sending a message to members of a certain group that they are unwelcome.

Preliminary research indicates that hate crimes have more serious psychological effects than non-bias motivated crimes."
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a hate crime as:  
• Hate crime -orig. U.S., a crime, usually violent, motivated by hatred or intolerance of another social group, esp. on the basis of race or sexuality; crime of this type; freq. attrib. (occas. in pl.), designating legislation, etc., framed to address such crime.
• Hate speech -orig. U.S., speech expressing hatred or intolerance of other social groups, esp. on the basis of race or sexuality; hostile verbal abuse (though the term is sometimes understood to encompass written and non-verbal forms of expression).
"Fact: The incidence of false reporting of rape is about 2 percent. This is about the same as that for false reporting of other felonies (Department of Social Services). Survivors of sexual assault are often traumatized again when they report the assault or rape since the process of making a police report itself can be very difficult. This re-victimization makes the likelihood of false reporting very minimal. It is far more likely that rape is very under-reported. Some experts estimate that only 1 in 10 rapes are ever reported."


  1. Well you rug munching bitch rape is not q hate crime

  2. Not all rapists are ignorant and uneducated. Guess the above message is why people are afraid to report it in the first place.