23 Common Excuses Used to Downplay Safety Risks for Women

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The words in italics are words commonly used by general society to scapegoat women for male violence.  The words in bold are the words we ne...

The words in italics are words commonly used by general society to scapegoat women for male violence.  The words in bold are the words we need to speak more loudly and more boldly.

 IF we truly want to end violence against women, scapegoating women for male violence must end. You cannot scapegoat women for male violence on one day and then claim to want violence against women to end on the next day. 

No matter how many followers, clients, parishioners, or subscribers, you have we all must break this habit of blaming women for male violence. 


 1. "She provoked him by dressing provocatively."

"It was that dress."


He gets easily aroused so she must stop dressing “provocatively”




2. "It was just a drunken mistake, he didn't mean to harm her."

He can’t act responsibly when it comes to alcohol so she must understand that mistakes happen.



3. "She shouldn't have been in that dangerous neighborhood alone."

He can’t be safe around a woman without inflicting harm upon her. 



4. "She shouldn't have fought back, it just made the situation worse."

He wants to feel powerful by harming women so she should not defend herself when he is harming her.



5. "Boys will be boys, they don't know any better."

He chooses not to behave in a mature manner so who knows what he will do to her.



6. "He's just stressed from work, that's why he gets aggressive."

He can’t handle stress so he takes it out on the more vulnerable.   Those who are silenced into taking it. 



7. "She must have done something to deserves the abuse, he wouldn't do it otherwise."

He can’t handle emotions. He can’t handle life. Therefore, she must suffer. 



8.  "She's just too sensitive, what he said didn't mean anything."

He has demonstrated an inability to communicate without offending others so her response is deemed "sensitive". 



9"He grew up in a tough environment, so violence is normal to him."

He has adopted behaviors that protect him from harm. 

However, he may use those skills to inflict harm even on people who do not wish him harm-like people who love him.


10. "She is a hateful bigot for denying me the opportunity to use the restroom that I choose to today."

He is afraid to utilize the bathroom for males so she must surrender her safety. Perhaps he has reason to be afraid too. Males can indeed be violent. 


(When are we going to effectively deal with: "Males can be violent? It would seem that dealing with that part would make everyone safer.)


11. "He didn't mean for things to get out of hand, he's just not good at controlling his anger."

He is not effective at controlling his anger, but expects that she should be more "understanding". 


12. "She's just making it up for attention."

He doesn't like the attention that his behavior and choices have attracted so she needs to be quiet now. He doesn't like the scrutiny.



13. "She knew what she was getting into, being alone with him."

He doesn't have self-control, so she must-or so society says.  



14. "He didn't mean to hurt her, it was just a spur of the moment."

He doesn't have self-control, so anything could happen to her and everyone is supposed to be okay with that.



15. "She should have known better than to trust him."

 "She was asking for it by going to his place alone."

He is not trustworthy, so she must suffer whatever comes her way.  He can't be trusted not to commit a crime or violate those more physically vulnerable to harm than he is. 



16. "She is not afraid, she is just hateful."

He is afraid to utilize the bathroom/changing room for males so she must protect him.

(When are we going to deal with the male violence at the root of this? All males should feel completely safe using the restrooms. 

Females do, when there are no males allowed. Thus, the problem is not with females.)



17. "She is hateful."

He is afraid to serve his time in a male jail so you must put your own safety at risk. 

Are we going to work on violence against male prisoners for males with disabilities? Males of short stature? Or are we going to keep playing with the lives and safety of women in jail/prison while leaving all prison violence unsolved?


We ought to be working to increase safety and fair treatment for all prisoners. 


18. "She shouldn't have been so outspoken, that's why he showed aggression."

He prefers women to be silent, if women aren't silent they are in serious danger. 



19. "She must have misunderstood his intentions, he's not a violent person."

He expects people to read his mind rather than communicate his needs in an effective and non-violent manner.



20"She should have left him sooner, it's partially her fault for staying with him."

He is too violent for a woman to be in a relationship with him, but since we have not set up a society that provides the proper support to women attempting to leave an unsafe partner, we will blame her. 



21. "He just has a hard time managing his emotions."

He has not demonstrated that he has learned how to control his emotions, and she should not have to deal with the repercussions of that. 



22. "It was just a family matter, it's none of our business."

He can't be trusted not to be violent towards family members, but people shouldn't have to put up with violence and abuse simply because he is a family member.



23. "We need to look inside ourselves and stop judging others. We need to forgive this man."

He has a very serious problem committing violence and abuse against others. Society has a problem letting him get away with it.

 I don't have to forgive him for any reason. In time, maybe. But first things first.  I must choose to love myself and see to my own healing needs from this day forward. 

I must make assessments based on a full collective of logic, common sense, previous experience, and my compassion for other human beings.  Sometimes you only get one chance to make the safest decision that will keep you and your loved ones safe. 



 IF we truly want to end violence against women, scapegoating women for male violence must end. You cannot scapegoat women for male violence on one day and then claim to want violence against women to end on the next day. 


No matter how many followers, clients, parishioners, or subscribers, you have we all must break this habit of blaming women for male violence. 




*NOTE: I fully support everyone living their truth. I just happen to know and believe that that includes women and girls being safe to do so too. 

When a Woman or Girl Says "No" to a Male: You Don't Call Her a 'Bigot' Do You? (FREE ebook) | WE Survive Abuse


Misogyny Is....A Belief System That Is Harmful to Women and Girls (flipbook) | WE Survive Abuse


Defying Shadows: Black Women’s Continued Fight for Safety & Equality in Separate and Unequal Spaces (ebook) | WE Survive Abuse


An Infographic Explanation of the Word "No" (infographic) | WE Survive Abuse


Mood Board Thy Name is Leena: Power and Control Wheels | WE Survive Abuse


Mood Board Thy Name is Sheilda | WE Survive Abuse


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WE Survive Abuse : 23 Common Excuses Used to Downplay Safety Risks for Women
23 Common Excuses Used to Downplay Safety Risks for Women
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