Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Guilty Reactions: Victim Blaming

A child is rushed to the hospital, unresponsive after throwing up.  The father says, "She would not stop crying!" in exasperation and fear.  

In a moment that will destroy several lives, the father swooped up the baby and violently shook her, and stopped her from crying.  

Gray matter appeared in her ears, and her life was effectively over.  Within 24 hours, she would be taken off life support.  

Note the emphasis in the language with the underlining.  

The young father now faces many years in prison for something he did not intend to do, but the baby's incessant crying coupled with his own immaturity, and lack of self control (he was not taught to ever delay gratification in life) set the stage for this disaster.  Only when it was learned that he was 'bothered' by her crying, and that she interrupted his video game, did people quickly lose sympathy and grow angry with him.  That the baby would not stop crying is to blame the violent assault on the baby; for if she would not have kept crying, she would not have been shaken.  This is to shift responsibility from perpetrator to victim.  

Sexual assault defenses commonly victim blame.  

Q.  How many men did Kobe Bryant's victim have sex with before he raped her?

This was floated by his defense.  If a woman has lots of sex, she cannot be raped, but if she is raped, it is her fault, but it wasn't really rape.  

Fact: Promiscuous women get raped.  

Even the self loathing victim who puts herself, deliberately in harm's way, does not remove the rapist's action.  It may be foolish to walk alone at night; agreed, but it does not justify rape, robbery nor assault.  

In domestic homicides where a life is lost, though not premeditated, the guilt can, like the "Tell Tale Heart", eat away at the subject, and enter his language, even as he tries desperately to conceal it from police investigators.  

How does it show itself?

This is a short lesson of insight into human nature.  For some, it is "the sinfulness of sin", or the reality of just how far a human will go to lessen the guilt one feels even while attempting to conceal the guilt.  Even hardened criminals have a need to justify their actions, though the true sociopath is just as subject to internal stress in lying as the most tender conscience.  The internal stress is not solely due to a conscience.  It is from the disruption of processing that takes place when one attempts to speak from words not experienced.  It is why it is sometimes said that a man can murder and a man can rape, but he really can't lie.  

The guilty subject seeks to conceal his crime, out of fear of punishment, while speaking.  In the case of missing persons (including children), the guilty caller may:

a.  Praise police for not finding the victim.  Psychologically, the "ingratiation" is taking place:  the guilty subject wishes to be "one of the good guys" and "on the right team."  They should be showing impatience and even anger at police for not finding their missing loved one.  

This is evident in many cases:  Ayla Reynolds, Katelyn Markham, and DeOrr Kunz.  

b.  Speak of themselves in positive terms, reminding their audience (even in 911 calls) how cooperative they are.  They sometimes will even portray themselves as heroically searching "everywhere", which, if you listen to the choice of words, exudes confidence that the missing person will not be found.  

c.  Speak of their own suffering, while ignoring the plight of what the 'missing' person is going through.  They talk about their own emotions, lack of sleep, and so on, without a word about what the missing child, for example, might be experiencing without her favorite blanket, or his medication, and so on.  

d.  Make the 911 call, or the interview, about themselves, and not about the victim.  The shift is most unexpected and it is bizarre.  

Go back to the Amanda Blackburn memorial and count the number of words about Amanda Blackburn.  Then, count the number of words about the victim's husband.  

Do the math.  

Something is very wrong.  

The guilty often put the victim on trial. 

In one cold case, an elderly mother had her throat slit and a fire set to destroy evidence.  Her son was asked to tell investigators about his mother and about the 'day of the fire.'  He chose to tell us about his mother's lack of morality, her entire life, beginning with what first seemed like compassion for her, but quickly moved to her teenaged immorality and on through decades of life where his focus was on her failures.  

Granted, some people enjoy dragging up the failures of others in life; they need it to feel moral superiority,  but we must remember the context:  death of a loved one; or in a missing person case where the victim's plight is unknown.  

Who would portray his own mother as a villain in life, rather than, contextually, deify her?  In his statement, he was prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, even while showing a small portion of himself as 'defense attorney' (the internal conflict of killing one's own mother).  Even this small defense of her was used to describe the event's impact upon himself. 

It is all about the self, rather than the victim.  

When someone feels guilt, they have a need to alleviate it, in some way, and this will come out in the words.  

Abortion Rights Activists 

 Abortion, at best,  is a most dreadful decision; one, perhaps, left best between husband, wife and doctor with terrible choices and consequences.  Yet, when one 'demands' one's 'right' to abort a child, we often find such anger and venom in the language, as to attempt to quell the guilt of ending a life, even to the point of depersonalizing the victim.  When the child is wanted, he or she is "the baby" and is sung to, read to, and so on.  When the child is unwanted, the he or she is depersonalized and called 'fetus'. Women Abortion activists fumed when Hilary Clinton called an unborn child a "person" recently.  This is to trigger anger.  

The demand, itself, for such a 'right' extends to even the demand that the public, including those against abortion, be forced against their will to pay for it.  This speaks to the intense need to justify the action, not by the profiteers, (we understand their emotional demands'  motive) but by the mothers, themselves, who one might expect a 'mourning' within their language but often hear extreme rage and anger.  It belies the dreadful decision made.  How good is the propaganda on abortion?

Consider the unease you may feel even having this mentioned in an article about guilt; most all people feel a sense of restriction, on either side, with the issue.  

Women who have never had an abortion, nor who intend to, express guilt if they don't come 'rushing in to defend' someone's claim of this as a "right."  In the UK, a midwives' union backed, without members' consent, a woman's "right" to terminate a pregnancy right up to the moment of birth.  

When the butchers of Planned Parenthood talked about baby parts sold for fancy cars, the US government responded, not with seeking to prosecute these barbaric acts, but to prosecute the videographer for going undercover in the first place.  The governments of Europe that push abortion decry the 1.8 birthrate of native Europeans.  

Guilt is a powerful emotion and it shows its power in the language. The deeper the guilt, the more intense the 'defense' of what one has done; even if the defense is subtle and 'beneath the surface.'  

This is why contempt is shown for those who do not agree with abortion advocates.  There is no respectful disagreement; there is contempt.  As one psychologist said, "A major feature of human life is the extreme vulnerability of babies. Physiologically we are born the most helpless of creatures. Because of our large head size, women have to give birth relatively early in fetal development. So humans are basically born while still fetuses, and utterly helpless."

It is this vulnerability that is very difficult for us to distance ourselves from strong, powerful emotions, including guilt, in this difficult topic.  Again, follow the language.  

Another example of such is the murder of Heather Elvis by Tammy and Sidney Moorer.  

For those wishing to understand how the guilt causes this 'trial' to take place, one must be willing to be open minded and listen to the words of those involved.  This is why Tammy Moorer's rage was so unusual:  she went open and could not filter or control her rage.  This, terribly, suggests to the manner and perhaps length of time, in which Heather suffered and died at her cruel hands.  

In the short interview with John Carter about Katelyn Markham's disappearance, he should have been just beginning to grasp her plight and speak of his tender love for her, and her vulnerability.  Basically, at this delicate stage, she 'could do no wrong', as he misses her and frets over her so intensely, that he can only consider the very best of her. 

Instead, he gave subtle justification for her death:  she was messy, all the time; she was constantly having to have him do things for her, because she was stressed out...

In moments like these, no one cares about how she squeezed the toothpaste from the wrong end; 'I just miss her so badly I can't even think of anything negative about it' because in light of being left bereft of our loved one, the 101 little things of annoyance in life are either forgotten entirely, or they, themselves, are missed.

"If only I could hear her sleeping next to me..." with all the complaints of hogging a pillow or snoring, washed away by the realities of her plight.  In the setting, this natural longing is expected; not complaints but especially, not minor complaints. 

Given the state of the context, we should be aware that the perpetrator has a need to justify what happened and while trying to conceal criminal guilt, these subtle contempt finds its way into the language.  

John Carter depersonalized Katelyn.  He made it through an entire 911 call and entire radio interview without using her name with the lone exception of being asked to identify her.  In the interview, he did not use her name once, and when he finally did use "Katelyn" is was not her, Katelyn, but her "name" to "keep out there."  Not once, as a person, did he identify his missing fiancee as "Katelyn."

In Germany, school girls were told to cover up while they walked to and from school, lest they be raped by the Muslims.  In fact, Germany is not allowed to say "Muslims" or "Islamists" but "non-European men" or "southern men."  In Sweden, police are not allowed to reference their skin color.  How successful do you think this is when catching rapists?

Even in 'advanced' Europe, the rape victim is blamed and sometimes even dehumanized as nothing more than a statistic.  The school girls are told to not wear skirts, lest they be raped.  

This is to say that it is' normal for a man to rape a woman' when the truth is that normal men will not be sexually aroused in such a violent, unwelcome and brutal act.  It is to blame the victim. 

Police in Sweden tell women to dye their hair and not go out at night.

This is to say that blonde hair leads to rape.  It is not the rapist's fault, she has blonde hair.  
(This is how they get out of prosecuting Islamists)

Either dye your hair, or be raped.  

Either stay in doors at night, or be raped.  

The message is clear:  

'If you do not dye your hair, or stay in doors, you are to blame.'

This shifts the blame from the rapist to the victim.  Can you imagine telling a baby not to cry lest he be shaken to the point of brain damage?

The new London mayor, a Muslim with terrorist ties, said that if Donald Trump is elected and he refuses to let Muslims in to America, Muslims will attack the US and the UK. 

The message was clear:   Either let them in to your country, or they will kill you.  

That doesn't sound too inviting.  He literally blames the victim.  We saw this with the cartoon and freedom of speech.  Americans said, "You will not impose Sharia upon us.  This is America!"

What did illogical people respond with?

"You asked for the violence."

They empower the violent no different than Germany and Sweden have increased the rape of their own citizens by victim blaming, refusal to deport, and in some cases, refusing to even arrest.  When a migrant rapes a 10 year old girl and is sentenced to therapy, the supremacy of the Islamic rapist is affirmed by the government.  

Here is one from many years ago:  

Zarah Baker. 

This is a case in which her own father, who was not charged, sought to mitigate his own guilt of negligence and said of his 'missing' daughter, "she was a teenager..." as if being assaulted by hormones justified the cruelty that his partner poured upon the child.  It was, in context, a subtle and minor complaint about her behavior.  

Caylee Anthony.  Remember what her mother called her?  What may sound cute to your ears, from your mouth, about your child, is not something you are likely to say while your child is missing. 

William McCollum made it through the 911 call after shooting his wife, Margaret, without using the word "my", "wife" and "Margaret" in any form.  It was to psychologically distance himself from her and to depersonalize her.  He used more expressive language to lament his job status, than he showed concern for his victim who lay dying, only to survive paralyzed.  

Rape victims are often re-victimized because they "asked" to be raped.  No matter the setting, the need to justify stands out in the language.  

Victim blaming is not new, and it is not always as pronounced as some of these examples.  It is often done in a subtle way, but the statement, particularly in an interview, can turn into a forum where the perpetrator, while denying involvement, puts the victim on trial, and slowly, carefully, and subtlety, justifies what was done to her. 

Listen for it carefully. 

By blaming the victim, the shifting of guilt is taking place.  

In statements where the subject (speaker) is attempting to conceal his guilt, listen for even subtle complaints about the victim.  It may be victim blaming which, in effect, seeks to mitigate the guilt by justifying the action.  


Bingo3 said...

Davey Blackburn has been blaming God and Amanda since her murder. He went as far as to place complete responsibility on Amanda for the purchase of their house. According to Davey she just had to have that house and if he didn't know that he would feel a lot more guilty. (I'll try to go back and get his exact quote from the sermon.)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Even in the context of faith, ultimately expressing confidence in the all controlling God, submitting to that which is not understood, his blame shifting is extremely important in analysis.