Exploring Victim Blaming Attitudes in Cases of Rape and Sexual Violence: The Relationship with Patriarchy

  • Haezreena Begum binti Abdul Hamid Faculty of Law, University Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Keywords: patriarchy, rape, sexual violence, victim blaming, victim blaming attitudes


This article explores the relationship between patriarchy and victim blaming in cases of rape and sexual violence. It explores how women’s dependence on, and subordination to men has been used to blame victims in cases of rape and sexual assault. The article will examine how patriarchal norms that are deeply entrenched in existing laws, traditions, religion, and social practices have been used to blame women in cases of rape. It will also explore how victim blaming attitudes have and continue to be used as a tool to absolve the perpetrator from their crimes. Using discourse analysis to examine the existing literature, the article will highlight how sexual violence are sometimes minimised and trivialised in courts and media. As well as this, the study adopts a feminist lens and critiques the imbalance of power that exist between men and women. The article will highlight how patriarchal norms have been institutionalised in all layers of social structures and contest how female victims of sexual violence are sometimes ridiculed and devalued in court. Within this finding, the construction of women’s sexuality and the limited criminal justice protection will be discussed in depth. The article concludes by arguing that patriarchal norms can be destructive and obstructive in achieving fairness and justice for victims of rape and sexual violence. Therefore, immediate steps must be taken to address victim-blaming attitudes by propagating more gender equality practices and instilling such practices in all levels of society and state institutions.


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How to Cite
Abdul Hamid, H. B. (2021) “Exploring Victim Blaming Attitudes in Cases of Rape and Sexual Violence: The Relationship with Patriarchy”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 6(11), pp. 273 - 284. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v6i11.1147.