There seems to be a growing trend of slighting what some view as the “perfect victim”. This is particularly nasty as it often comes from other victims and campaigners.
No one asks to the victim of rape or sexual violence!
But playing victims off against each other helps no-one, but the rapists. Men, women and children are raped; some by people they know, some by people that they have had previous relationships with; some by strangers; some by soldiers; some by trusted relatives; some by officials – but all have one thing in common – they are all violated, and they all have to cope with how that feels.
In the UK it is estimated that about 10% – 12% are raped by strangers and 88% – 90% are raped by known offenders. It is also accepted that many people will not report the rape that happens to them, so the actual figures will never be fully known. However, the assumption is that these figures would reflect the unreported cases too.
There are many myths that everyone needs to understand are myths. One of these is about the “perfect victim”. There is no such thing as a perfect victim, no one should be a victim. There are victims for whom it may be easier to secure a prosecution, but even then that is not always a given. No victim can ever be given a water tight guarantee that their rapist will be found guilty. And giving evidence and going through the criminal justice process is not an easy process or experience. There will always be people who doubt victims.
There may be more doubt about some cases (in some people’s eyes) but that is not any victim’s fault. The fault lies with those who categorise who is deserving of rape and who isn’t. But, no one deserves to be raped. Making any definition, can also foster and promote the myth.
Rape is vile, Rape is evil, and we need to move away from blaming any victim for rape.