Victim blaming continues to prevail as victims continue to suffer


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Conway serves as the current counselor to the President

Sierra Rozen, Viewpoints Editor

Victim blaming is one of the worst things that can come out sexual assault accusations. Sadly, it happens almost every time a person comes forward to tell their personal story of assault.

However, one does not expect it to come from the survivor themselves. Recently Kellyanne Conway, the current Counselor to the President, revealed on live T.V. that she had been sexually assaulted in the past.

Her exact words were “I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape. I’m a victim of sexual assault.”

Obviously many people were taken aback by this statement, as Conway works with President Trump, a man who has openly admitted to sexually assaulting women. Why would someone who has gone through this traumatic experience want to work alongside a person who has committed this heinous act?

Even worse, was the comment she made after the original statement. She went on to say that “You have to be responsible for your own conduct.” This leads back to the idea of victim blaming.

Conway’s commentary is very confusing to say the least. Being “responsible for your own conduct” has nothing to do with being sexually assaulted. She is not only blaming herself; she is also blaming others.

This all goes back to the age old idea that if a person is dressed a certain way or is intoxicated, it means that they deserve to be assaulted. Considering that people get assaulted while wearing any number of things and being completely sober, this blame has no place in this situation, not to mention the fact that someone’s choices should not dictate how others respond to you.

Analyzing why Conway may have said this is very tricky, as she has not responded to requests for comments to explain herself. One reason why might be the misogynistic world we live in.

Being surrounded by this toxic environment, Conway might have been internally trained to think that the survivor of sexual assault is to blame, instead of the perpetrator. If she grew up in an household where these were held beliefs, it would explain why she thinks this.

Going back to the Trump aspect of this situation, she said “Let’s not always bring Trump into everything that happens in this universe.” Despite what she thinks, this is the exact kind of situation that Trump should be brought into.

Trump has been recorded bragging about sexual assault, which is why everyone is so confused about Conway’s revelation. How could she work for him knowing what he’s done in the past?

The answer: the internalized misogyny mentioned earlier. If she truly believes that sexual assault survivors are to blame, it makes sense that she wouldn’t blame the perpetrator.

We as a society have to do better when it comes to how we treat survivors of sexual assault. Making them feel like it is their fault is one of the worst things we can do. They are already dealing with so much emotional trauma, and we do not need to add to it.

As for Conway, I would hope that she does not blame herself and that she will learn to stop apologizing for perpetrators, since it is the last thing they deserve.