It’s time to Beat the Blame Game

Sarah Rosecky, Contributing Writer

“I can’t believe this is on [the news]. I’ve seen so many drunk bitches like her.”

This was a reaction by a viewer of ABC’s 20/20 reporting on a victim of sexual assault.

Heather Imrie (M.Ed.), who is currently in a Ph.D. program for Educational Psychology, spoke in Trout Auditorium on Feb. 17 at the “Beat the Blame Game” hosted by Speak Up Bucknell.

Imrie’s presentation of “Beat the Blame Game” contained warnings of the use of strong language and triggering conversation. She shed new light on the perspective of victim blaming and speaking up, explaining to the audience that clothes, intoxication, isolation, and femininity are not reasons that someone should be blamed for an assault.

Psychological terms were introduced to give the audience more insight to what society thinks of sexual assault. Hindsight bias, a term used by psychologists, is typically known as the “I knew it all along phenomenon.”

Another theory that Imrie presented was the “Just World Hypothesis.”

“The more one believes that the world is an orderly, predictable, and just place, where people get away with what they deserve, the more they believe the victim is at fault for his or her actions,” Imrie said.

Both of these terms contribute to the belief that “karma is a bitch.” People deserve what they get. Imrie refuted this statement by showing that these are just our human tendencies.

Not only women are sexually assaulted–men are victims too. Imrie brought up the movie “Horrible Bosses” where Jennifer Aniston, a dentist, seduces Charlie Day, her assistant. When refuses her advances, his friends are in disbelief: “She’s hot!” Why wouldn’t he want to have sex with her? Men can refuse sexual contact.

Just because a female dresses “provocatively,” is alone with a man, or drinks alcohol, does not mean that she is asking to be sexually assaulted.

Imrie proved to her audience that it is time to stop the blame game.


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