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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(It was a coin-flip between putting it here or in the Debate forum, I put it here cuz I don't have a cohesive point to forward yet and victim blaming is a recurring theme in many threads here. But if a mod feels it should be moved feel free.)

I feel like there's this really thin, wobbly line between victim blaming and divesting someone of all personal responsibility. I wanna figure out where exactly that line is. For me, anyway. I'm sure everyone will have their own line.

So, are people ever responsible for dangerous and/or detrimental situations they find themselves in IF that danger comes from a third party? If someone is in an abusive relationship and nothing keeps them there, like they are not being threatened, they are financially independent and they have no psychological or mental disorder that prohibits independent action do they have absolutely no accountability for staying in that place? If you decide to go to a nightclub bejeweled and suitably dressed is that decision the exact same thing as choosing to take that outfit for a walk through a dirty, dangerous alleyway in the middle of the night? If you're constantly bullied but you choose to dress in a extremely flamboyant OTT fashion are you playing a role in that bullying?

I'll post my opinion later after I've given it some more thought/seen if anyone has a point I haven't considered yet.
 

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So, are people ever responsible for dangerous and/or detrimental situations they find themselves in IF that danger comes from a third party?
If someone hurts me, even if I insulted them, i'm not responsible for their actions, I'm responsible for what I did which was insult them but not for what they did. So no, no matter how stupid you think something someone did, this never makes them responsible for the actions of others. So if I walk into a part of town that's said to be reputable and I get hurt, no, I'm not responsible for the harm that befalls me.

If someone is in an abusive relationship and nothing keeps them there, like they are not being threatened, they are financially independent and they have no psychological or mental disorder that prohibits independent action do they have absolutely no accountability for staying in that place?
I'm not sure what I think of this hypothetical, sound rather conveniently unreal.
This just doesn't seem to reflect what I hear from abusive relationships in which people blame women thinking it's so easy to just leave but have little insight into the nature of abusive relationships and it's effects on the psyche of the individual.
But again, no, the individual isn't responsible for the harm against them.

If you decide to go to a nightclub bejeweled and suitably dressed is that decision the exact same thing as choosing to take that outfit for a walk through a dirty, dangerous alleyway in the middle of the night?
Kind of confused by this question.
Do people make decisions on going down alley ways based on their attire? It's kind of loaded in that it's already implied that the alleyway is dangerous but alleyways aren't inherently dangerous, what this relies on is that at night due to their secluded nature bad things can happen there. But that's a lot of places at night time, how many people even walk down alley ways.

If you're constantly bullied but you choose to dress in a extremely flamboyant OTT fashion are you playing a role in that bullying?
No, bullies are the one that are bullying, they are responsible for their behaviour.


I think the problem with victim blaming is that I don't believe it changes anything, especially after the fact shit has already happened.
It's not useful to a person whose been murdered to speak of what they could've done differently.
There is this common trend that treats the source of problems as inevitable, in the case of the bully, instead of thinking why someone bullies and what we can do to effect those factors that has people bully, we instead expect those they victimize to not exist. Because that's really what's required for those problems to not exist, you need a world in which there can't be any targets for that person to harm.
A world in which people can't become victims of anything, suddenly invulnerable, sounds more airy fairy than addressing the source.
Too many people stuck in a mindset where they find it more tolerable to lecture people about not becoming victims rather than they are confident in lecturing people to not victimize.

Who are we more appalled by? That someone got hurt or that someone hurt others?
I think it's especially unhelpful when one can't change, like the fact that people can't change that they're black, that they're a woman and such and these are reasons they're targeted for certain things. The problem is not with the existence of these demographics but of the society they live in and how it allows them to be treated, that we actually defend that harm and often when they act out against it we condemn them.
I think many peoples "advice" is more them trying to hush a problem and pretend there isn't one, they don't like people causing a fuss.
Perhaps we don't like to admit that we're invulnerable because we are discomforted by our vulnerability, it scares us to know that we can't protect ourselves from everything, we can't control everything and we find changing things too hard and so we call it inevitable, impossible.
So to get by we need to rationalize to ourselves how we aren't going to let ourselves become one of those targets, that if we ignore these problems they'll go away.
Illusion of safety and harmony by ignoring that problems exist, because confronting problems causes conflict, tensions, disharmony.

I do think if one is going to speak up on protecting people from harm, they should know it does work, assumptions are dangerous, assumptions can put people at risk from ignorance.
It should also be in the context of a broader audience rather than specific demographic, detailing to everyone what they can do rather than telling the dead guy what he could've done to not be murdered and so on.

EDIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-love-and-war/201311/why-do-we-blame-victims
 

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It's not that we can't have all a mature discussion about personal responsibility vs. the shitty actions of others, it's that people point to errant behaviours and use them to justify all kinds of awful, criminal behaviour.

Bottom line is this: It doesn't matter that I should have left you by now, you should not hit me. It doesn't matter that my wallet is hanging out of my back pocket, you should not steal it. It doesn't matter that I'm lying passed-out drunk in a dark alleyway in a short dress and no knickers, you should not rape me.

Saying 'well, you should have done this' or 'you were careless' does not change the fact that a crime was comitted against me. It does not mean I no longer have a right to justice. It does not advocate the perpetrator of wrongdoing.

I am all for educating people on keeping themselves safe. I think, no matter what, there will always be terrible people in the world who take advantage of people's mistakes. People in the world will manipulate and slowly 'train' their partners into forgiving them for hitting them. People who pick the drunkest girl out in a room and slip something in her drink. People will always be able to find a new unwilling mark, wherever they go.

Education is the means by which we deprive these people of opportunities, it is not the means by which we deprive them of responsibility.

Without even going into the immense psychological shitfuckery behind things like abusive relationships and rape - which simple analogies like 'walking down an alley in a suit made out of money' completely whitewash over, hence they are about as much use as a cock flavoured lollypop - I can very plainly say that, no, it isn't the victim's fault. Now now, not ever.
 

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It would be easier to discuss these things if we would differentiate more often between blame that arises from moral deficiencies and blame that arises from precautionary deficiencies.
If I leave my car's doors open with the keys already in my town poorest district and someone steals my car, I'm not to blame at all from a moral perspective. I am to blame from a precautionary deficiencies because I didn't take even the most basic, reasonable precautions to avoid my car getting stolen.

However in the vast majority of rape cases rape victims have a very low degree of fault from a precautionary perspective because the precautions that they would have to enact to be sure that they are not raped aren't distinguishable from paranoid behavior.

Victim side's prevention of rape is somewhat effective - despite what certain ideological zealots may say - but, data at hand, it's the least effective method of preventing rape from happening (I don't remember whether it's potential-aggressor or potential-bystander the approach which is most effective, maybe I'll check later).
 

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(It was a coin-flip between putting it here or in the Debate forum, I put it here cuz I don't have a cohesive point to forward yet and victim blaming is a recurring theme in many threads here. But if a mod feels it should be moved feel free.)

I feel like there's this really thin, wobbly line between victim blaming and divesting someone of all personal responsibility. I wanna figure out where exactly that line is. For me, anyway. I'm sure everyone will have their own line.

I'll post my opinion later after I've given it some more thought/seen if anyone has a point I haven't considered yet.
I think problems arise when people (Not just you) try and find where that line is. You're essentially looking for a line to be drawn in the sand, and calling for society to clearly define what constitutes personal responsibility, and what is just a coincidence. I don't know about you, but society is routinely bad at coming to these types of conclusions, and this is why you have people like feminists arguing against victim blaming, and sleaze-bag lawyers defending their rapist clients by asking "Well, what was the alleged victim wearing at the frat party?"

I think BOTH sides are wrong, because both sides are hellbent on dissolving the other, instead of taking into account EVERY bit of evidence available to them.


So, are people ever responsible for dangerous and/or detrimental situations they find themselves in IF that danger comes from a third party?
Of course they are.

It would be foolish to say otherwise. That's like saying a person that willingly went skydiving isn't responsible for his injuries if equipment malfunctions, or the pilot is flying too low to the ground and he breaks both of his legs.

Legally speaking he's not at fault, but he is still responsible to some degree.

This is why when you do anything moderately dangerous, from rock climbing to sky diving to bungee jumping, the people facilitating the jump/climb make you sign a waiver, and even if you DO sign it they can still be held responsible in a legal sense.

Reference:

[SUP]Liability waiver

  • A liability waiver is a legal document that a person who participates in an activity may sign to acknowledge the risks involved in his or her participation. By doing so, the company attempts to remove legal liability from the business or person responsible for the activity.
[/SUP]

If someone is in an abusive relationship and nothing keeps them there, like they are not being threatened, they are financially independent and they have no psychological or mental disorder that prohibits independent action do they have absolutely no accountability for staying in that place?
We're not discussing accountability, we're discussing responsibility.

Something that most people don't know, is that MOST abusers never get jailtime, and a lot are never charged. For a lot of reasons, but the most substantial reasons are that:

  • 1) Common assault isn't serious enough to warrant jail-time (It's like getting into a bar fight; do the taxpaying citizens really need YOU in jail/prison?)

  • 2) It's very hard to prove that a fully-grown adult could not simply get up, and leave a typical abusive situation.

I'd also like to note that emotional disorders, and some personality disorders are NOT caused by preexisting conditions. It's possible for someone to emotionally abuse someone to the point where they don't (Or, simple think they do not) have free will. And, in these cases the perpetrator is usually thrown in the slammer, if they consistently physically or sexually harmed their victims.

If you decide to go to a nightclub bejeweled and suitably dressed is that decision the exact same thing as choosing to take that outfit for a walk through a dirty, dangerous alleyway in the middle of the night?
Well, yes, yes it is. But, I think you're arguing the wrong point, here.

The outfit isn't the choice that will lead to a bad outcome. It's the part about willingly walking down a shady alleyway that you need to be focused on.

If you're constantly bullied but you choose to dress in a extremely flamboyant OTT fashion are you playing a role in that bullying?
Yes, you are.

Gay men experience this dilemma daily: Do I be myself, make out with my boyfriend, dress in pink, and danm the consequences? Or do I date women, become a bible-thumper, and look down on other gay men to get the gay-sniffing dogs off of my trail?

Now, most gay men choose to be themselves, and for that they are responsible, to some degree, for any bullying that occurs. But, they are still not legally at fault for the violent actions of others.

All in all, I think before we have this discussion, we really need to draw a line between legal responsibility, and personal responsibility - You can knowingly walk into a dark alley, and subsequently get killed. This choice, however, does not give any other person the right to commit a violent crime against you; and honestly, I dont know that anyone has ever argued this.

When people get pissed and blame the victim, they're not trying to absolve the perpetrator; they're really just getting upset due to the random nature of the crime. They're hoping that maybe if they make an example out of one victim, people will better protect themselves from certain violent acts - they're afraid of the victim holding no responsibility, because they don't want to live in a world where they, or their fair family could be raped, killed, or sodomized just for the hell of it.

It's twisted, and cruel, but it's reality.
 

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Victim blaming is a disgusting behavior because it stresses the mistakes of the victim rather than condemning the perpetrator of the abuse which is something dangerous given how easily some crimes fly under the radar. It's not 'obvious' that the criminal is a scummy person because apparently there's a need to find fault with their victim's choices and naivety, all while ignoring that things like these can genuinely break the psyche of a person. Trauma can lead to irrational decisions, low self esteem and fear.

I'm not saying that discussing what could be improved and how to make less risky choices would necessarily be a bad thing but, in the huge majority of cases, telling a person who's gone through hell how easily they could have gotten out of it and how stupid and weak they were is never a good choice. Not an empathetic, understanding and intelligent one either. Chances are that the person already feels horrible about themselves and guilty of things they had no responsibility nor control over, making it hurt even more is not of any help. They cannot exactly go back in the past and undo it. People can be reckless or naive, it doesn't mean they deserve pain.

Of course there's intentional victims, people who enjoy making drama out of simple observations and get offended by anything you say. In that case, I'm absolutely not fazed by any of it although I understand it often hides bigger issues and it's a plea for attention, just the wrong way. But everything concerning emotions and judgment is extremely subjective because, even if common sense and logic dictate something, you can't know for certain what's going through a person's head at the time and what brought them to act a certain way.

As a rule of thumb, I'd rather focus my critical energies on the one who actually committed a crime (or any other morally revolting action) and harmed another person rather than crucifying the survivor for not being able to avoid being victimized by someone. As if everything was always clear, easy and perfectly safe to handle. Each situation is different, broad advice can fail for a plethora of reasons that apply to specific contexts and/or individuals.
 

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I hate the reasoning that some people love constantly trying to blame one person for everything. Like just because things keep happening to a person doesn't mean it's always they're fault. I'm not responsible for the way people act or what they say. If they choose to blow up a situation into something it's not, that's on them. However, I do have a right to defend myself from them but that doesn't mean I'm being a victim. Being a victim is sitting there letting people do what they want without saying anything to them about it. Sometimes people don't know what a true victim is and they like to throw that word around a lot and disguise it as people love the drama that's why they keep doing what they do, no that's not the case. If I loved the drama, I would have started the drama. No, I was minding my own business and people stuck their noses into mine and I simply finished the drama. I never start things, but I always finish it.

Yes, there are bigger things in life to be critical of, instead of bashing someone for being involved in he said she said gossip. Want to blame someone for really being abusive? Go blame someone who actually hits people and physically harms people.
 

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As a rule of thumb, I'd rather focus my critical energies on the one who actually committed a crime (or any other morally revolting action) and harmed another person rather than crucifying the survivor for not being able to avoid being victimized by someone. As if everything was always clear, easy and perfectly safe to handle. Each situation is different, broad advice can fail for a plethora of reasons that apply to specific contexts and/or individuals.
What if there is no real crime being committed? Or, what if no one is hurt?

I think if we're going to have an adult conversation about this, it's best to speak about hypothetical situations that don't involve emotion-inducing responses. Take rape, assault, and bodily harm caused by another person off the table - let's focus on mugging, malpractice, and other illegal activities.

You're telling me that if a 25 year old man purposely walks into a shady neighborhood to score some weed & gets robbed in the process, he's not at all personally responsible?

I think he is, but I also,at the same time believe he is not responsible for the criminal actions of others.

And this is why I have such an issue with both people that only take the victims side, and those that blame the victim: They completely ignore the actions of the victim, when legally speaking the actions do not matter - they only matter because they interrupt the notion that sometimes bad things happen to good people. If the person isn't morally a good person, they got what they deserved. If they are morally right, it's a tragedy that warrants the most heinous justice.

Both sides are wrong, because they take the attention off of the actual crime. In reality, everything matters. Every shred of evidence is important in any criminal case, and to say otherwise is a complete disrespect to taxpaying citizens who fund (a now completely defunct) justice system.
 

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I hate the reasoning that some people love constantly trying to blame one person for everything. Like just because things keep happening to a person doesn't mean it's always they're fault. I'm not responsible for the way people act or what they say. If they choose to blow up a situation into something it's not, that's on them. However, I do have a right to defend myself from them but that doesn't mean I'm being a victim. Being a victim is sitting there letting people do what they want without saying anything to them about it. Sometimes people don't know what a true victim is and they like to throw that word around a lot and disguise it as people love the drama that's why they keep doing what they do, no that's not the case. If I loved the drama, I would have started the drama. No, I was minding my own business and people stuck their noses into mine and I simply finished the drama. I never start things, but I always finish it.

Yes, there are bigger things in life to be critical of, instead of bashing someone for being involved in he said she said gossip. Want to blame someone for really being abusive? Go blame someone who actually hits people and physically harms people.
*Legally responsible
 

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What if there is no real crime being committed? Or, what if no one is hurt?

I think if we're going to have an adult conversation about this, it's best to speak about hypothetical situations that don't involve emotion-inducing responses. Take rape, assault, and bodily harm caused by another person off the table - let's focus on mugging, malpractice, and other illegal activities.

You're telling me that if a 25 year old man purposely walks into a shady neighborhood to score some weed & gets robbed in the process, he's not at all personally responsible?

I think he is, but I also,at the same time believe he is not responsible for the criminal actions of others.

And this is why I have such an issue with both people that only take the victims side, and those that blame the victim: They completely ignore the actions of the victim, when legally speaking the actions do not matter - they only matter because they interrupt the notion that sometimes bad things happen to good people. If the person isn't morally a good person, they got what they deserved. If they are morally right, it's a tragedy that warrants the most heinous justice.

Both sides are wrong, because they take the attention off of the actual crime. In reality, everything matters. Every shred of evidence is important in any criminal case, and to say otherwise is a complete disrespect to taxpaying citizens who fund (a now completely defunct) justice system.
I use "victim blaming" to refer to those situations where either a crime or any kind of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or all of the above) was being perpetrated. Of course, there's different degrees of gravity to a crime or violation although intensity and perception are a subjective thing. I place a lot of value on a person's intentions and lucidity.

Objectively speaking, the man walking into the shady alley didn't have the best judgment but at the same time it's not his direct fault that he got robbed. Whether his action was a morally good one or not, depending on a person's stance on weed, the retribution he got (in this case being robbed or even mugged) was completely unrelated and out of proportion compared to his act.

With that, I don't mean to say that people shouldn't try to be wiser and avoid to walk themselves into potentially risky situations but as a very absent-minded, socially clueless person, I can vouch that shit happens. Owning up to your own responsibilities is always a significant opportunity to grow, as long as it doesn't become a way to justify someone else's dishonest behavior.

Obviously, if there's a strong psychological or emotive component involved, this is not a matter to be introduced. It all depends on the person, the gravity of the situation and the way they cope with specific situations/stress/trauma. Understanding the circumstances always helps.

OP mentioned abusive relationships so of course my mind went over the most severe hypotheticals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
See now obviously a victim isn't ever responsible for a crime committed against them. But they might be responsible for putting themselves in that situation. In a perfect (or at least uniform) world everyone would have the same upbringing and hold the same values and there would be no impetus for crime and everyone would be psychologically healthy and you could do whatever while knowing nothing bad would happen to from a third party. But that's not realistic. That is airy fairy. And I think most people are aware of that. So if you knowingly put yourself in a situation that you are fully aware is not the safest thing ever should you not take responsibility for that?

Abusive relationships are an especially contentious topic for me, personally. Cuz it seems to me that they ablate personal responsibility the most. 'Well, you're financially independent, your partner does not threaten you or beat you, you're unhappy but you don't leave. Why?' 'I'm just too abused/manipulated to leave.' Uh, why? What? How can you not be responsible for the actions of others but they can, without direct coercion, be held responsible for yours? That doesn't seem fair. It's like holding your mother responsible for your warped interaction with women for the rest of your life and doing nothing to better it because she was emotionally abusive. That actually happens. But my point is that yes people suck, and yes it would be great if they didn't but at what point do you have to suck it up and actually do something to get yourself out of it? Or to avoid it? Or does that point not exist? There doesn't have to be action from your part just a cessation of action from the part of the perpetrator?
 

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Victim-blaming is the ultimate strawman. Pay no attention to the asshole over here, but instead, pick on the one perceived as weak.

It is YET ANOTHER ridiculous manifestation of the enneatype 3 "winning" culture of image crafting where every little opportunity people have to point out other's supposed weaknesses or supposed mistakes in judgement is taken and relished.

I agree totally with the folks that mentioned the fact that victim blaming is a sort-of useless thing as well. It does not address the two main issues of helping the victim and deciding on a course of action for the victimizer.

That being said, friends, family, and trained professionals can and probably should interject if a person is continually victimized in the same way. Certain behaviors and patterns greatly increased the likelihood of negative outcomes. So this then becomes the way to help - not pushing this agenda during any victimization event. That helps to remove the shifting of blame thing.

I also would like to say as well what I have said in many other threads about idealism. The realists among us are much more likely to victim blame. Idealists are less likely to. That is because an idealist ALLOWS FOR a world in their thinking where extremity is normal and personal responsibility is very high indeed. In other words a super attractive person can wear next to nothing and behave in a very sexy manner publicly and still reasonably expect that no one will overstep their bounds. I like this sort of idealism. It WILL yield a better world. The realism of an expectation that people cannot control themselves ALLOWS many people to think therefore that such bad behavior is OK. And it IS NOT OK despite their WRONG thinking.
 

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See now obviously a victim isn't ever responsible for a crime committed against them. But they might be responsible for putting themselves in that situation. In a perfect (or at least uniform) world everyone would have the same upbringing and hold the same values and there would be no impetus for crime and everyone would be psychologically healthy and you could do whatever while knowing nothing bad would happen to from a third party. But that's not realistic. That is airy fairy. And I think most people are aware of that. So if you knowingly put yourself in a situation that you are fully aware is not the safest thing ever should you not take responsibility for that?

Abusive relationships are an especially contentious topic for me, personally. Cuz it seems to me that they ablate personal responsibility the most. 'Well, you're financially independent, your partner does not threaten you or beat you, you're unhappy but you don't leave. Why?' 'I'm just too abused/manipulated to leave.' Uh, why? What? How can you not be responsible for the actions of others but they can, without direct coercion, be held responsible for yours? That doesn't seem fair. It's like holding your mother responsible for your warped interaction with women for the rest of your life and doing nothing to better it because she was emotionally abusive. That actually happens. But my point is that yes people suck, and yes it would be great if they didn't but at what point do you have to suck it up and actually do something to get yourself out of it? Or to avoid it? Or does that point not exist? There doesn't have to be action from your part just a cessation of action from the part of the perpetrator?
I'm not sure I understand?
What is the person taking responsibility for in the context of putting themselves in danger?
Because it seems to imply people are denying that they did things that put them in those circumstances and I'm not sure I've witnessed that before. I don't think seen a person who was drunk when they were assaulted that they weren't drinking or a person who got mugged that they weren't walking alone some place. Even if a person knowingly puts themselves in danger, it doesn't really amount to much after what's ever happened.


As for abusive relationships, the very nature of them is control, people's mindset is very much under the thumb of their abusers. So I think it's too easy to say yeah they should leave, but again it seems to be fitting in ones own intuitive narrative of how these things work rather an understanding of abuse.
This thread discusses somethings that might be interesting on that front.

In fact, this is considered so dramatic that it can actually result in diminished responsibility for crimes.
One case here in Australia, son who was trained by his abusive father to be a boxer. He did all sorts of weird shit with him under some weird guise of training. When older, the father had his son and his son's friend murder his ex-wife.
When it went to trial the son was actually let off with a lesser charge than the friend on account that the court recognized that the son has been under life long duress and control of his father that the jury considered him less culpable for his actions than his friend in the murder of the ex-wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm not sure I understand?
What is the person taking responsibility for in the context of putting themselves in danger?
Because it seems to imply people are denying that they did things that put them in those circumstances and I'm not sure I've witnessed that before. I don't think seen a person who was drunk when they were assaulted that they weren't drinking or a person who got mugged that they weren't walking alone some place. Even if a person knowingly puts themselves in danger, it doesn't really amount to much after what's ever happened.
I have. Not them denying that they were drinking or that they were walking alone in some dangerous place but somehow placing that external to themselves, as if the decision to get smashed or traipse through McStablane was a decision somehow outside of themselves. It just happened. They were victims of circumstance as well as the more mundane kind of victim.

As for abusive relationships, the very nature of them is control, people's mindset is very much under the thumb of their abusers. So I think it's too easy to say yeah they should leave, but again it seems to be fitting in ones own intuitive narrative of how these things work rather an understanding of abuse.
This thread discusses somethings that might be interesting on that front.

In fact, this is considered so dramatic that it can actually result in diminished responsibility for crimes.
One case here in Australia, son who was trained by his abusive father to be a boxer. He did all sorts of weird shit with him under some weird guise of training. When older, the father had his son and his son's friend murder his ex-wife.
When it went to trial the son was actually let off with a lesser charge than the friend on account that the court recognized that the son has been under life long duress and control of his father that the jury considered him less culpable for his actions than his friend in the murder of the ex-wife.
The example isn't really fair. Someone who has literally been raised a certain way? Understandable. A [presumably] grown, mature adult who has had an entire life separate from their abusive partner somehow becoming void of any kind of free will or self-preservation? That I don't understand. And no one seems able to give me the kind of insight I need to understand. Unless you're saying that the victims in abusive relationships have been raised a certain way. If you're saying only a certain 'kind' of person gets caught up in this kind of situation, that is something I might be able to wrap my head around even if I find the idea somewhat patronizing.
 

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1. If you don't study for a test, is it your fault if you fail it?

Well, this doesn't apply to rape at all because in the event of a test, you are being promised by the institution that you will make a failing grade if you miss x number of points.

If you go outside in a skirt, you're not being promised by any institution to be raped. It is individuals who commit this independent of any institutions.

So, no, your actions do not excuse the actions of other individuals--except in the case of self-defense.


2. If you're in a relationship with an abuser and you refuse to leave, does that excuse the abuser's behavior?

Of course not. That in no way logically follows. No institution promises you abuse if you fail to act. An individual is the one who is abusing you.


3. If you fail to make your mortgage payment, is it your fault if the bank forecloses on your house?

Yes, because the institution is promising to do this. It's part of the contract. You pay us, or we take back the house. This isn't individual vs individual. This is individual vs institution.

edit:

Sorry, ^this was a really convoluted way of saying: One individual's actions do not excuse another individual's actions.

The only time that an individual's actions deserve punishment are when they violate the rules of a system. (examples given were failing to study for a test and failing to pay a mortgage payment)

Wearing a skirt in no way violates any rules of any system. It's perfectly legal to wear a skirt.

Rape, therefore, is not excusable because it is not a guaranteed punishment of violating any system.

edit:

^and this is a less convoluted way of saying . . . there are no justifications for rape.
 

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I have. Not them denying that they were drinking or that they were walking alone in some dangerous place but somehow placing that external to themselves, as if the decision to get smashed or traipse through McStablane was a decision somehow outside of themselves. It just happened. They were victims of circumstance as well as the more mundane kind of victim.
I was under the impression that it was more common for victims of things to blame themselves.
Was It My Fault? Self-Blame & Survivors | Pandora's Project
That they are likely to think about how they might've avoided the traumatic experience in great detail.
That a person who gets hit by a car could probably recall in great detail the earlier parts of their day which if something had been different, they might not have been hit.

But i'm curious as to how much predictive power one expects from people to avoid danger.
For example, at a music festival with friends I got reckless with drinking, straight vodka, was peer pressured and I necked a lot which was naturally a stupid thing to do. Within minutes I was on the ground barely able to crawl out of the campsite to which I was tried to vomit. I then passed out on one of our couches, when I woke up, my shirt was gone and I felt someone tugging on my shorts. It was a stranger, they weren't attacking me but attaching some key chain. Apparently my friends had started drawing on me and had invited other music festival goers to participate.
You could tell me that I shouldn't have necked the vodka, that I should've resisted the peer pressure, that I shouldn't have bought vodka or even drank at all, maybe not even attended the event and so on.
But such things wouldn't be taken to heart after the fact that it's happen, who really stops in those moments to predict terrible outcomes in great detail.

My stupidity was my own but it's not as if I was self monitoring or even predicting the future in concern for my safety, I was among friends.
In that experience I think I can understand how one can end up doing stupid things and not giving much thought to the future and that it certainly feels like things where just flowing rather than some conscious decision of I wanted to end up passed out and drawn on.

Sure, we can all imagine how we'd avoid these things but it has the tendency to always be retrospective. One could easily predict somethings that in the actual experience one isn't inclined to even think about, is the difference from being one in the moment and a person detached from it observing.
Similar with a car accident, someone might be doing burnouts thinking how fun it is, but then crash it and kills their friend, one goes what were they thinking, well they certainly weren't thinking about the possibility of harm, it wasn't in the forefront of their thoughts.
Interestingly enough I think people who are often targeted demographics are already on edge, women already go to great lengths to avoid being vulnerable to creepy men, similar black people already go to great lengths to not get the attention of the police.
They know they're targets and so they use what strategies they think effective to not be targeted, but it doesn't help that it's not so much what they do but whether those that target them want to act on them.

The example isn't really fair. Someone who has literally been raised a certain way? Understandable. A [presumably] grown, mature adult who has had an entire life separate from their abusive partner somehow becoming void of any kind of free will or self-preservation? That I don't understand. And no one seems able to give me the kind of insight I need to understand. Unless you're saying that the victims in abusive relationships have been raised a certain way. If you're saying only a certain 'kind' of person gets caught up in this kind of situation, that is something I might be able to wrap my head around even if I find the idea somewhat patronizing.
I think you underestimate some individuals capacity for manipulation.
Spoiler is a video of a woman detailing her own experience with domestic violence in an attempt to help explain the dynamics.
Why Domestic Abuse Victims Stay
 

This is perhaps also relevant in general to people's cognition in respect to their view of people who are victims of something.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error

In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error, also known as the correspondence bias or attribution effect, is people's tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else's behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behavior, where situational factors are more easily recognized and can thus be taken into consideration. Conversely, from the other perspective this error is known as the actor–observer bias, in which people tend to overemphasize the role of a situation in their behaviors and underemphasize the role of their own personalities
https://erikatakesgradschool.wordpr...-as-a-form-of-fundamental-attribution-theory/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victimology
 
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You're telling me that if a 25 year old man purposely walks into a shady neighborhood to score some weed & gets robbed in the process, he's not at all personally responsible?
Responsible for what?
 
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