"Victim-blaming is…unfairly blaming someone for the violence that was done unto them. When it comes to sexual harassment, assault or rape, victim-blaming manifests in a number of ways. Post-assault, people often find that their choices and actions surrounding the assault (and sometimes their entire sexual history and other past behaviors) are put under a microscope. Was their outfit too provocative? Were they wearing too much makeup? Were they walking out too late? Were they in a “bad” neighborhood? Were they drinking? Were they dancing? Does their gender expression deviate from feminine or masculine norms in some way? Questions like these are asked by the legal system, the media and society, who look for some reason to put blame on a person who has experienced violence in order to explain WHY that violence was done to them. This gives others reasons to believe they will remain safe, if only they do not behave/dress/be the way that the person who was assaulted behaves/dresses/is."
It’s called the just-world hypothesis. We think the universe must work in a sensible, ordered way, so when something happens, well, we must have done something to deserve it. Sexual assault doesn’t make sense, though. There is no justification for it, no logical reason - but damn it if we won’t try to find one.