How to Prevent Sexual Assault

I recently read a blog in which a young woman (who just happens to be a technical writer for Google) told the story of how she was at a major “tech-y” conference, and after the conference her and her colleagues decided to have a good time back at her hotel room and later in a bar.  In the blog, she states that while at the bar, one of her colleagues tried to kiss her, and after she said “stop,” he proceeded to put his hand down her pants and sexually assault her.  In her blog, not only does she tell this story, but she names her perpetrator (Read her blog here).

After reading, I felt very proud of this woman for sharing her story and especially for calling out the man who assaulted her.  But then, a wave of disgust overtook my pride.  Upon reading the comments, I found that a number of people thought that SHE was in the wrong.  Some of the comments were:

“I think it’s pretty clear that whatever happened that night wasn’t a big deal.”

“Blame yourself and dress up properly next time.”

“So he ruins your day or week, and you ruin the rest of his life.”

“What is the problem? Hands down pants? Big deal. There is no ‘violence’, nor is there any ‘trauma’. Hands went down pants, and presumably, promptly removed. No harm, no foul.”

…and those are just a few of them.

After reading her blog, I began thinking about how potential victims are expected to act in ways that would prevent such an incident from happening.  Think of how many times you’ve heard “Don’t leave your drink unattended,” or “Don’t walk alone at night.”   This expectation seems ludicrous to me, but we live in a rape culture, and blaming the victim is a HUGE part of that culture.  I remembered something that a professor had shared with me, and I thought that it would be good to post on here.  I think it’s a nice way of turning these expectations around and giving responsibility to perpetrators.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Source:  http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2009/09/23/guaranteed_rape_prevention

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