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Hang on a minute...

If I have unprotected sex with a lot of strangers, I am likely to catch an STD.

If I walk around a bad neighbourhood at night, offending the local hoodies, I am likely to be stabbed.

If I don't follow basic hygeine when preparing food, I am liable to get food poisoning.

Yes, it is possible to get an STD or stabbed or food poisoning even when those precautions are taken. However by taking those precautions it is less likely to happen.

By following your arguments ladies, it would seem possible for me to walk naked down the street, flirting with every man I meet and not run the risk of getting raped.

Whilst getting raped is not my fault (neither is getting an STD, being stabbed or getting poisoned) surely it makes sense to take precautions to try to prevent it as far as possible?

Author: Mel, Female, Cardiff
Date: 03/07/2012

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Replies to this post

i agree that precautions should be taken due to the world we live in, HOWEVER, we should NOT HAVE TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS. if a woman wants to wear a short skirt and get drunk, she should be able to do so without having to worry about rape.

Author: sarah, Female, new zealand
Date: 10/09/2012

Yes you can say that, but I think a massive issue is that people still use it as a reason when people want to go to court. The women are told that it is their fault and treated like the criminal. And the conviction rate of rape is so low because of this.

Author: Hannah, Female, Cheshire
Date: 10/09/2012

Sure, it is smart to take precautions to prevent getting raped. But the analogies don't hold up.

If you choose to have unprotected sex or don't follow basic hygiene, you are accepting that STDs or food poisoning is a possible and likely result. Both of those analogies indicate a personal choice in which you would be held accountable for the results.

However, a woman wearing tight clothing or giving a warm response to male attention is not accepting the possibility of getting raped, or accepting any responsibility if it happens. Nor should her clothing or flirting be used to hold her accountable, even partially, for her own rape. In cases of rape, the woman is the victim, and the blame lies solely on the rapist.

Also, walking around in tight clothing is not the same as offending local hoodies on the street. Clothes are not offending or harassing anyone, or visually accosting anyone, or in any way an explicit invitation for action to anyone. Though verbal harassment isn't justification for physical assault, clothing (revealing or not) is not nearly, and should not be considered, as inflammatory as offensive insults.

Author: Kierra, Female, USA
Date: 10/09/2012

I think this is right. If a shopping centre was robbed because it had no security alarm or guards, people would blame the shop as well as the robber. No matter how the world SHOULD be, this is how it is.

Author: Squirrel, Female, Wales
Date: 10/09/2012

I apologize if I am out of context but where does it suggest anywhere that risk reduction strategies (e.g., NOT going out naked and flirting with every man you see, carrying pepper spray) does not make sense?

Author: Addy, Male, United States
Date: 10/09/2012

First of all, Food poisoning doesn't make a choice to poison you. Rapists make a choice.

If you go into a bad area and get stabbed, some cynics might laugh and say "Damn, what an idiot." But most people would blame the stabber and would demand punishment. Because it's the stabber who did something wrong. The victim is the victim. No one deserves to get stabbed just because there's a psycho around. No one deserves to be raped because there's a psycho around.

Honestly, how many people do you know would say "He had it coming" about a victim of a stabbing? How many do you know would say "She had it coming" about a rape victim?

Author: Jenna, Female, New York
Date: 10/09/2012

Yes, I literally believe that any person should be able to walk naked, stumbling drunk through the darkest alleys anywhere in the world and not get raped. And if they did it still wouldn't be their fault. It's time to place the responsibility for rape on the rapists.

Author: Samrat, Female, Tucson, Arizona
Date: 10/09/2012

The thing that needs to happen is that, eventually, a world comes about where rape isn't even an issue anymore. Because we shouldn't have to teach women to hold their car keys like a weapon when walking through the parking lot, to carry around pepper spray in their purses, or to learn 50 billion different ways to say "no." No means no, and if we taught people "don't rape" instead of "boys will be boys, but here's how to protect yourself from getting raped:..."

Author: Brittany, Female, Waco, Texas
Date: 22/05/2013

Food poisoning and STDs have nothing to do with this situation. if someone has been raped then it has been one or more people making a conscious decision to force other into a sexual act. I totally get where you are coming from but just remember men (and women too) have brains, they can make choices, we cant make excuses for them or dehumanise them because they are people too. Yes women today have to take steps to prevent rape but whilst your teaching your daughter to stay in public areas can you please teach your son to respect women and not rape...

Author: Sophie, Female, New York
Date: 11/11/2013

To an extent I agree. We live in a world where, logically, you need to take precautions, just like if you have a nice house you might want to lock the door. However, that does not mean it's ever the victim's fault, and THAT is what we're trying to make people see. No matter what sort of security you didn't have on your home, no one's going to blame you if your possessions are stolen, they're going to help you and sympathize with you. It should be the same with rape.

Author: Paige, Female, Minnesota
Date: 30/01/2015

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“Rape seems to be the only crime where it's seen as ok to put the victim on trial.”

Natasha, Female from Glasgow

“Short skirts don't cause rape. Rapists cause rape”

Joss, Female from Connecticut

“About time something like this was shown on TV. Hopefully it will make everyone realise there cannot be any excuse for rape - EVER.”

Helzo, Female from Renfrewshire