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Victim blaming occurs when individuals who have been injured or mistreated, or otherwise had their rights violated are attributed a portion of responsibility or culpability for their own victimization. As such, victim blaming does not straightforwardly fit with the purported function of blame, which is to deter the perpetration of harmful acts. From a social-cognitive perspective, victim blaming may be motivated by a desire to punish perceived norm violators. Public blaming requires justification. As a way of legitimizing victim blaming, society may construe victimization as within the victim’s reasonable capacity and moral obligation to prevent. This entry explores the beliefs and mental processes that precede victim blaming.

Victim Blaming in the Case of Sexual Assault

Victim blaming has been found to be more common for victims ...

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