Definition of Victim Shaming in Urban Dictionary:
When the victim of an event is blamed, or partially blamed, for their own attack. Mainly used in context with rape, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault, but can be applied to other situations. It wrongly shifts blame from the guilty party onto the victim, and therefore doesn't (or makes it more difficult to) punish the one truly at fault. The term was popularized by the SlutWalk movement, which started after a Canadian police officer advised female students to "avoid dressing like sluts" in order to avoid being victimized.
Victim Shaming is done in many cases including:
1. Honour killings
2. Domestic abuse
3. Forced marriages
4. Acid attacks
7. Forced prostitution
8. Cyber Bullying
And I will be explaining how that is done.
1) Honour killings
In Honour killings, even dead victims are blamed for their own murder. People blame and shame a dead woman for trying to run away with her boyfriend to get married against her father's wish. This is a very popular reason given for honour killings. A lot of parents don't allow love marriages or any relationship outside marriage. Women run away when they have no hope left.
Then, her father or her brother thinks she brought shame to the family and ruined the honour of the family. The society is also responsible for honour killings because they are the ones who shame families if their women do anything wrong. They are the ones who ask endless questions, they gossip, backbite, tease and even say harsh comments on a person's face. They give dirty looks and treated the men of the family like an outcast, who are excluded from their circle of friends and from all family gatherings.
In Qandeel Baloch case, the brother who killed his sister in the name of honour blamed the society for shaming him every single day for years. Qandeel Baloch was killed for wearing short clothes and for being a social media star. The neighbours and the relatives shamed her brother for allowing his sister to wear short clothes. People used to insult him so much that he couldn't leave the house.
People told him that he wasn't a man if he can't stop his sister from wearing short clothes. Therefore, the society dehumanizes the men of the family by telling them that they are not men if they can't dominate or control their women's lives.
A lot of Pakistanis still justify this honour killing and they call it divine punishment.
2) Domestic abuse
In a domestic abuse case, women are accused of provoking and triggering the men to get angry.
A lot of people think men don't have self-control and they make women feel like they are responsible for the bad actions of the men.
People call domestic abuse victims "rebellious" and "disobedient."
Asma Aziz's domestic abuse case became very famous, where her being tortured was justified just because she did few things that Muslim women are not supposed to do like partying, drinking alcohol, having male friends, dancing and having a relationship outside marriage. Some even called her torture a divine punishment for breaking the Islamic rules.
3) Forced marriages
'Forced and child marriage persists in countries throughout the region, particularly in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Indonesia,' says the Global Slavery Index
130 million girls in South Asia are victims of forced marriages.
Every year in India, 10 million girls are forced to get married below the age of 18.
This happens because of poverty and a orthodox mentality, where people don't believe in educating girls because they think they are going to be housewives anyway. Parents don't like spending money on their daughter's education. A lot of parents think if their daughters will go to colleges and universities, they will fall in love with someone or will start answering back to their parents.
Forced marriage victims are shamed just for speaking against forced marriage.
They are labelled, "disobedient children."
People say, "Parents know what is best for their children."
Those who speak against forced marriages are called, "ungrateful."
4) Acid Attacks
Whenever a girl is attacked with acid, people blame her for having a relationship outside marriage or for having male friends. A lot of conservative and religious people think it is a sin to have a relationship outside marriage, something which contradicts the idea of love marriage.
They also think a girl should not have male friends because they believe in zero interaction with the opposite gender. Those types of people are against mixed gatherings of men and women.
They are the types of people who refuse to shake hands with the opposite gender, they like to have separate queues.
The funny thing is that in a lot of cases, the victim didn't even know the guy. In one case, two boys had a fight and one guy attacked the other guy's sister with acid.
Acid attacks in India
India had around 300 recorded attacks in 2016.
The real number of attacks is likely to exceed 1000 attacks a year.
Acid attacks in Pakistan
It is estimated that up to 400 women fall victim to acid attacks perpetrated by their husbands or in-laws each year, but due to under reporting, only 1,500 cases have been documented over the past 10 years.
Attacks are often an escalation of domestic violence and rooted in gender equality, manifesting as land disputes, suspicions of infidelity, family and ‘honour’ disputes and rivalry.
Acid throwing was made a crime against the state with an amendment to the Pakistani Penal Code in 2011 and can carry punishments of lifetime imprisonment.
But the law is rarely enforced, particularly in rural areas, conviction rates are extremely low and acid attacks continue.
Attacks in Bangladesh peaked at around 400 in 2002. Almost 70% of victims are women and girls. A study of 90 victims of attacks in Bangladesh found that 80% of the attacks occurred in the victims’ homes .
People blame and shame rape victims for wearing short clothes and makeup.
They shame them for losing their virginity.
They shame them for going outside at night.
They shame for having relationships outside marriage.
They are shamed for having male friends, for doing a job, for going to school, for leaving the house in the first place and for socializing.
Again, victims are shamed for looking too pretty and sometimes, they are accused of leading the men on.
7) Forced prostitution
First of all, even children are victims of this in Asian countries including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Those victims are shamed for losing their virginity. They don't really understand the definition of a "victim" and "consent." People don't differentiate between a woman who became a prostitute with choice and a woman who was forced to become a prostitute. People start thinking she brought a shame to the family and she ruined family honour. She is called a bad omen. Sometimes, her own mother and sister will turn against her. Such victims of forced prostitution and rapes are treated like an outcast in the society and they are disowned by their own families.
8) Cyber bullying
People blame victims for having social media accounts in the first place and for looking too pretty in the pictures.
The concept of "judging" "shaming" and "controlling" gives birth to honour killings just like prejudice gives birth to genocide.
It is not just the men who judge, shame and control, it also include women.