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RSN™ Guide: Victim Bashing or Blaming

Victim Blaming or Bashing – The SCARS View

Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. The study of Victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible.

There is a greater tendency to blame victims of rape or romance scams than victims of robbery if victims and perpetrators know each other.

Hey Don't Blame The Victim!

Hey, Don’t Blame The Victim!


Victimology is the study of victimization, including the psychological effects on victims, relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system—that is, the police and courts, and corrections officials—and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements.

Victim Of A Crime

In criminology and criminal law, a victim of a crime is an identifiable person who has been harmed individually and directly by the perpetrator, rather than by society as a whole. However, this may not always be the case, as with victims of white collar crime, who may not be clearly identifiable or directly linked to a crime against a particular individual. Victims of white-collar crime are often denied their status as victims by the social construction of the concept (Croall, 2001). The concept also remains a controversial topic within women’s studies.

The Supreme Court of the United States first recognized the rights of crime victims to make a victim impact statement during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial in the case of Payne v. Tennessee 501 U.S. 808 (1991).

A victim impact panel, which usually follows the victim impact statement, is a form of community-based or restorative justice in which the crime victims (or relatives and friends of deceased crime victims) meet with the defendant after conviction to tell the convict about how the criminal activity affected them, in the hope of rehabilitation or deterrence.

Secondary Victimization Of Scam Victims

Secondary victimization is the re-traumatization of the victim of a highly emotionally charged relationship-based scam (such as a Romance Scam) through the responses of individuals and institutions. Types of secondary victimization include victim blaming, disbelieving the victim’s story, minimizing the severity of the impact, and inappropriate post-assault support, therapy, or treatment by professionals or other organizations. Secondary victimization is especially common in cases of romance scams where non-victims fail to understand that after the initial contact, psychological manipulation removed the power from the victim just like it does in cases of sexual assault.

Romance scam victims experience stigmatization based on scam myths and urban legends, and the unwillingness of other victims to accept that they were scammed. They will, therefore, blame other victims as a means of expressing their own shame.

Frequently, the lack of understanding of the manipulation techniques and the hijack of the victims own mind during a scam will cause society, law enforcement, and even friends and family to blame the victim for what happened. Victims frequently suffer isolation, psychological abuse, “slut-shaming” (something derived from rape accusations), public humiliation rituals, be disowned by friends and family, be divorced if already married, or even be killed (when they attempt to track down their scammer by visiting them in Africa).

The core basis of the blaming stems from the initial period that was under the victim’s control, when the victim made a conscious choice to interconnect and interact with the unknown person. Non-victims rarely understand how rapidly the Amygdala Hijack can occur, and then how expertly scammers employ continuing manipulation, such as Gaslighting to control the victim throughout the scam.

Victim blaming is also exemplified when a victim of a romance scam is found at fault for performing actions, such as when they lie to family or friends about the scammer and engage in deception with money transfer services over their relationship with the recipient. SCARS and other Victim Advocacy Groups, as well as medical professionals, are doing their best to educating the public, government, and law enforcement on the definition of consent in these cases, and the importance of refraining from victim blaming.

Victims of romance scams also develop psychological problems such as depression or other specific PTSD symptoms that we (SCARS) refer to as