I’ve been reading alot of these, and I noticed the term “victim-blaming” popping up quite a bit. This term brought up a big moral question for me, because I was wondering about a legal case that two of my friends were recently involved in.
Disclaimer: I’m using gendered language because these parties are real, and additionally, everything I put in quote is taken from statements made by both parties.
A couple years ago, one of my friends accused another of rape. This was a shock to him, and he denied it completely. The case went as follows. She claimed that he had raped her, because she was “drinking” and “in love with someone else.” She implied that even if she had given consent, it was coerced, because she would “never sleep with anyone while she was in love.”
He completely denied these accusations and his defense was twofold:
1. He claimed that the idea that he forced her or coerced her in any way was “ludicrous”, as she had put him in her own bed over half an hour before she entered it, and he was “fast asleep” when she “woke him up” and proceeded to “have sex with him.” He claimed that he felt “used” by her. He called witnesses who saw her put him in her bed, and leave for half an hour, before returning. They didn’t see anything further. Additionally, the accuser also said that she got into bed after him and “may have” woken him up. Additionally, another witness testified that he said he felt “used” they day after, before the trial started.
2. She sent a text message to him before they slept together saying she found him “attractive” and was “interested” in him. He said that this, combined with her extremely “aggressive behavior” (another witness who was with them the whole night indicated she was aggressive) made him think that not only was she consenting to contact, she expected him to perform. He said he felt very pressured to have sex with her. She said that although she sent the text message, she sent it in a “joking” manner. He countered that there was absolutely “no way” he could have possibly known that.
So there you have it. I’d be interested in what you have to say about the two different posts, and how they relate to victim-blaiming. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, do you consider them legitimate forms of defense? This was all corroborated by witnesses, and it was factual. I think the second one blurs the line, but note that he was not blaming her for sending the text message, he was merely saying that it further confused him about her intentions. In none of his defense did he mean to say whatever happened was her fault, he just said that he could not be held “responsible” for a “mistake” on “both their parts” due to “miscommunication.”
Edit: Another question that struck me was the question of whether or not she is a victim at this point? Does saying one is raped make one a victim or does guilt have to be established? If saying that one is raped is makes one a victim, are all legal defenses “victim-blaming”?