Justin Holcomb’s Wise Words

This is so importantly true:

Social psychology research on attitudes toward sexual assault has demonstrated that individuals in our society hold many prejudices about and negative views of sexual assault victims. Thus, victims often suffer not only from the trauma of the assault itself but also from the effects of these negative stereotypes. The result is that victims feel socially derogated and blamed following their sexual assault, which can prolong, continue, and intensify the substantial psychological and emotional distress the victim experiences. It is clear that negative reactions from family, friends, loved ones, and society have a harmful effect on victims.

Because sexual assault is a form of victimization that is particularly stigmatized in American society, many victims suffer in silence, which only intensifies their distress and disgrace. There appears to be a societal impulse to blame traumatized individuals for their suffering. One rationale is that this provides nonvictims with a false sense of security if they can place blame on victims rather than on perpetrators. Research findings suggest that blaming victims for post-traumatic symptoms is not only erroneous but also contributes to the vicious cycle of traumatization. Victims experiencing negative social reactions have poorer adjustment. Research has proven that “the only social reactions related to better  adjustment by victims were being believed and being listened to by others.”

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://1t412.wordpress.com/ Christina

    I find it particularly brave of Holcomb to repost this so soon after the dismissed SGM verdict and the less-than-satisfactory responses from TGC and T4G. It may not be intentional (although the timing suggests that it is) but it is certainly relevant.

  • Rebecca Wimer

    I am glad to see him post this coinciding with the SGM verdict. .especially coming from one with a Reformed perspective.

    This was posted yesterday by Boz Tchividjian and is timely also.
    http://wisecounsel.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/system-justification-motivated-avoidance-of-vulnerability/


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