“Whilst the concept of a patriarchy is sneered at in present day discussions, the power of male violence, male entitlement and male privilege is still very much real.”
“She asked for it. She was flirting. She was drinking. She was wearing a revealing dress. She was too confident. She walked home alone. She stayed in that relationship. She was naïve. She didn’t report soon enough. She didn’t fight back. She wanted it. She lied about it. She comes from a bad area. She was vulnerable. She should have known. She should have seen it coming. She should have protected herself.”
These are the words – and not-so subtle hints that are too often associated with women survivors and murdered victims of male violence. From headlines sympathising with a male murderer in an attempt to justify his actions, to judges who seem to place women on trial for their own rapes, abuses, and mental anguish, the insistent victim-blaming of women is one of the most insidious crimes committed against women seeking justice. No wonder then, that these words forge the opening of Dr Jessica Taylor’s first publication.
Herself a survivor, Dr Taylor brings together three years of doctoral research combined with ten years of practice with women and girls to try and understand why so many facets of our worlds seem compelled – even in 2020 – to go on blaming women for all the forms of male violence committed against them.
“What is it that causes us to blame women who have been abused, raped, trafficked, assaulted or harassed by men? Why are we uncomfortable with placing all of the blame on the perpetrators for their crimes against women and girls?”
Simultaneously working to expose both collective as well as individual psychologies which compel communities to blame women subjected to male violence, this is a must-read for anyone wanting to grapple with the questions posed.