Wednesday, February 8, 2012

speak out: stop victim blaming

i didn't know what i was going to post about today until i checked facebook this morning and found this horrific article in the provo daily herald, once again blaming a rape victim for not being careful enough.  here's the outrageous quote:

Siufanua said that after each of those previous attacks the city undertook measures to make the trail safer. Brush was cleared from troubled areas, Siufanua said, and patrols were added.
"The one thing we really tried to do is create transparency on that trail," he said.
According to Siufanua, police consistently patrol the trail using motorcycles, bikes and Segways, as well as on foot. Officers patrol the trail "on a daily basis," with officers typically checking areas such as Exchange Park at night and during the day. The city also has used cameras in the past, and officers routinely interview suspicious individuals on the trail.
But Siufanua added that the city can't rip out all the vegetation and have officers on the entire trail all the time.
"So it all comes down to personal responsibility," Siufanua said, adding that anyone on the trail should bring a cell phone and no one should use the trail alone after dark.

there have been at least three attacks on this trail in the last eighteen months, one that left the victim permanently disabled.  

here's a suggestion for doing something to help another human being today:  leave a comment in the comments section of this article supporting her and criticizing the victim blaming that's going on.  she needs to know this was not her fault.

then, read and repost this list from this blog:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.
2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.
3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.
4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogle her.
5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.
6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.
7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.
8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.
9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.
10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.


  1. Had lengthy FB exchange about this last night. Bad enough that the officer said "it all comes down to personal responsibility" . . . and then to have the press repeat the statement. I reposted your blog entry on my friends page (I thought the message about sexual assault was right on target).

  2. i think the "rape prevention tips" astutely point out how weird our thinking about "personal responsibility" for our own safety is. thanks for sharing!