Self-Blame in Victims of Violence


Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B. C., Canada, V5A 1S6


This article focuses on self-blame in victims of violence. Various types of victim self-blame are delineated (e.g., blame for causing the violence, blame for not being able to modify the violence and blame for tolerating the violence) and speculations are offered as to how each of these might be related to the affective state and coping ability of victims. Additional distinctions are made between the acts of: 1) blaming oneself for being a cause vs simply being an occasion for the violence and 2) blaming one's abuse on personal characteristics about which one feels positively vs characteristics about which one feels negatively. The implications of these distinctions for an understanding of the victimization process are discussed.