Why Would a Judge Blame the Victim?

I recently found an article about a judge who blamed a woman sexually assaulted at a bar for setting herself up.  Last summer, a drunk police officer drove himself to a bar, flashed his badge to avoid paying cover at the door, and then walked up behind a woman, put his hand up her skirt, and ran his hands over her genitals. A jury convicted him of sexual abuse and he was fired from the police force.

While the trial judge, Jacqueline Hatch, didn’t view the cop’s actions as particularly serious (he received no jail time and doesn’t have to register as a sex offender), she had some some words for the assaulted woman:

“Bad things can happen in bars,” Hatch told the victim, adding that other people might be more intoxicated than she was.

If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch said.

True, if she hadn’t been there it wouldn’t have happened.  Then by that logic kids who are bullied are to blame because they go to school.  If they stayed home they wouldn’t be bullied.  If she was presiding over the Trayvon Martin case would she let George Zimmerman off with probation and blame the parents?   It’s everyone’s fault for having anything happen to them because they did more than get out of bed and leave their house.

In a world where less and less people want to take responsibility for their own actions, we have a judge who is going to the opposite extreme.  While I appreciate someone  who believes there are cases where people set themselves up to be victims, this seems inappropriate.

References: Thinking Progress


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