Why Do We Victim Blame When Explicit Photos Are Leaked?

A disturbing but prevalent circumstance of sending out explicit photos of yourself is the eventuality of finding them spread or distributed without your consent. There is the very real possibility of one day waking up to find those photos in the hands of those it was never intended for. And when that happens, people are always more likely to judge and scorn rather than offer support.
Seeing people in distress over leaked nudes should lead us to question how these things happen or how the damage from the situation can be lessened, but we don’t. More often than not, people jump to judging the parties involved and choose to make side comments instead. There is always a little bit of contempt for the victims as if it were somehow their fault or something they should have expected. We have a tendency to ask, with more than just a shade of judgment, “why did they send it in the first place?”
First off all — it’s 2019 and we have to start realizing that we really have no place in the private affairs of anyone else. Whatever happens in the confines of a relationship, however serious or casual, is completely between them. What two people choose to send to each other should be beyond the scope of anyone’s judgment. Asking a question like this redirects the issue and makes it less about the violation of privacy these victims experience and more about outdated conceptions of right and wrong.
And there are so many details and dynamics occurring behind the situation which we aren’t privy to. We often have no idea how or what happened for these photos to be taken then leaked. Sometimes, it can’t even be definitely said who was responsible for the leaking. Since the information we have is imperfect and because there are so many little things we may have missed, it is unfair that we dole out judgment for any parties involved.
The act of having these photos circulated is bad enough on its own, it is already traumatic and damaging to those affected. Their privacy has been breached to a disgusting point, with some of their most intimate and personal photos being blatantly shown without any regard. There will probably even be self-inflicted shame and anxiety over the stress of the situation. On top of all that, we resort to adding onto those burdens by victim-blaming.
Perhaps the best recourse in situations like this is to preserve the victim’s privacy as much as possible. The only thing we can, or should, do is to take a step back from the situation and refuse to share these photos. We cannot be complicit in making it any worse than it already is. And neither do we have the right to point fingers and lay blame, especially when it has nothing to do with us. Photos like these were created in private and they should continue to exist as such.
Let us know your thoughts and opinions on this in the comments! 





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