What If We Treated All Crimes Like We Treat Sexual Assault?

No Country For Women recently launched a digital campaign called ‘What If We Treated All Crimes Like We Treat Sexual Assault?’ that uses humour to illustrate the problematic responses to cases of sexual assault. Each piece satirizes a different type of victim-blaming by depicting how ridiculous these rhetorics would sound if applied to any other crime. While the images specifically target the Indian cultural landscape, the campaign has universal significance as these rhetorics are global in their prevalence.

The most common responses to sexual assault broadly fall into 5 main categories:

Infantilizing the victim and depicting the crime as a result of the victim’s naiveté.
Accusing the victim of false allegations and defaming them.
Criticising the victim for not living in a perpetual state of hyper-vigilance where they constantly expect and prepare for a crime to be committed against them.
Hijacking victimhood by dismissing the victim’s voice, shifting focus onto irrelevant entities and/or sympathizing with the perpetrator.
Appealing to sentiments of nationalism and diverting the conversation from the incident at hand.