Blaming the victim, part two, three, and four…and maybe five?

Okay, so we already know that rape victims are always to blame, either because they are in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes or the wrong gender.  But now Health.com (through CNN) has decided it isn’t just rape victims that are causing their own woes.  It’s school children, too.  Those damn kids!

In their “Are depressed kids bully magnets?,” they are kind enough to blame the kids for being bullied.  The title alone gives us a hint of that – they are “magnets” – e.g. they are causing the bullies to come to them.  But how, one might ask are these children doing that?

Well, you see, they’re depressed.  And this means that they “have the potential to appear vulnerable, and are easy marks for victimization.”

But, wait, there’s more!

A researcher pointed out that the kids really do bring it upon themselves by exhibiting “social skill deficits or behaviors…or excessively [talking] about their problems…these are all things that have the potential to be irritating to peers.”

Damn right, researcher! If only those depressed kids just kept their problems to themselves and didn’t annoy the others, maybe they wouldn’t be harassed and bullied.

I know, instead of stopping bullying, why don’t we just stop depression?  Let’s just drug up the depressed kids.  Once they’re happy, all the bullying will stop, right?

Sometimes I really wonder at the brilliance of these researchers.  Yes, it’s good to know that there may be a reason why bullies pick targets, but let’s think about the words we use and how we express that information.  Let’s not give the bullies excuses; let’s come up with ways to stop the problem.  Blaming the victim is not the way to go.

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