• Sat, Jun 11 2011

Awesome Graphic Tells People The Best Ways To Prevent Sexual Assault

Are you tired of being told it’s your responsibility to keep people from raping you? It seems like everywhere you turn, you see messages like “don’t dress too slutty, don’t get too drunk, don’t go home with anyone you’re not 100% committed to fucking,” etc. Don’t live your goddamn life the way you want to or you are just asking for crimes to be commited upon your person! As Jessica’s classic post demonstrates, this logic is utterly absurd; the real way to prevent sexual assault is to teach people not to sexually assault people. And when they do, to convict them and put them in jail for a long, long time.

The rad chick behind the blog feminally thought so, too, so she collaborated with tumblinfeminist on a neat infographic that explains all the real ways we, as a society, can prevent sexual assault. It’s not just directed at men, either; women commit assault too, albeit at much lower rates. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use common sense and watch out for signs of danger, but the ultimate honus to keep from committing a crime falls on (duh), the person who is actually thinking of committing the crime, and I think we need to be reminded of that more often.

(Via tumblinfeminist)

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  • matbo

    This is amazing..So beautiful, so true…

  • kjon

    So good of you to remind everyone out there that victim-blaming is wrong (in ALL instances). My comment will focus mostly on rape, though.
    If I can get through my day without assaulting someone, so can you. Pretty simple concept really, if you believe that you are control of your own actions at least. If you don’t (or if you believe in nonsense like “sex was in the air” or “her slutty outfit made me do it”), then you might need therapy.
    Also, if you’re afraid that most women claim rape for personal gain, please look up some actual data to support that claim because that sounds like a nasty cop-out for nastier behavior. I would actually claim that most women don’t even bother reporting rape because they’re afraid of that same shit. But then again I don’t have the data, I just know from personal experience.
    Rape is not a collective “boy who cried wolf” situation. One false claim would not negate past/future claims.
    Short skirt or long, humans have the absolute right to his/her sexual autonomy.

  • Addy

    Good as far as it goes, but needs to be expanded to cover all crime. Remind criminals not to commit crimes and the job’s done.

  • Yahong

    YES. This rocks socks.

  • Christopher

    Thank you. Sincerely. Victim blaming genuinely makes me want to vomit.

  • Ace

    Very inspiring I’m working on a graphic now that’s similar. Here’s some ideas:

    1) “if you see a rich looking white guy sporting a rolex in the subway do not eat him up and rob him at knifepoint”
    2) “Just because someone has not specifically bought a car alarm is no excuse to smash their car and rob them”
    3) “don’t forget, if you stick your knife through someone’s chest and they die, that’s murder”
    4) “Remember to be honest. Don’t pretend to be a caring person just so you can get closer to someone and them strangle them, shoot their dog and steal thei inheritance. ”
    5) Don’t forget, you can’t “borrow” money from someone if they’re asleep
    6) Never open a door or window uninvited
    7) Don’t put sedatives in peoples drinks so you can later kill them and make it look like a suicide.
    8) When you see someone walking alone in an alley don’t cut their throat and take all their stuff
    9) Carry a gun. In case you find yourself wanting to rob someone, hand the gun to your friend so he can point it at you and stop you
    10) Use the jail-mate system. Find someone from your old cellmates, preferably one on parole. If you find yourself wanting to deal drugs to kids, have her slap some sense into you.

  • jim_neff

    You cannot teach someone that committing a crime is morally wrong. They know it’s wrong, that’s why it is called a crime. We also can’t depend on the State to keep us safe. Even CA with their 3-strikes law doesn’t matter now that the SCOTUS ordered them to release prisoners due to overcrowding. Other states, like MD, have a revolving door for their justice system. You are responsible for your own safety. No, we don’t ask to be assaulted but if I trust anyone else for my safety they will let me down.

    • Miss Juice

      But a lot of people *don’t* know that its morally wrong, or at least don’t think it is. No one is saying that you should be able to leave your car unlocked with your laptop sitting out in plain sight, but as silly as doing that would be, no one would argue that that doesn’t count as theft. There are tons of people, including law enforcement, who feel very strongly that if a girl was wearing revealing clothing, or if she was drunk, or if she invited her date back to her place and she was sexually assulted, that no crime was committed because it’s her responsibility to not send out the wrong signals and she probably secretly wanted it anyway.

    • D

      I found this graphic on a website where the commenters (men crying that they shouldn’t be treated like rapists) called it “only rape” and blamed girls for “getting their testosterone going” (boo fucking hoo). Apparently not everyone knows it’s morally wrong … Not if it’s “only rape” and not if it’s the girl’s fault. However, I don’t diagree that we’re responsible for our own safety — I’m all for putting a bullet through the fucking skull of anyone who tries to so much as lay a fucking rape finger on you. That’s the only thing that will help people realize it’s a crime — the justice system certainly doesn’t.

  • Ben

    You know what else is great for stopping a sexual assault?

    A round or two of .45acp. A sucking chest wound will definitely ruin the mood.

  • hybgfvs ghfds

    The idea of these messages is NOT that you are a slut.

    The idea is to do things that prevent YOU from being the next victim!

    Men who rape and assault are like animals, looking for the easiest target.

    Don’t BE that target.

    Make it really HARD to hurt you, and you will probably live your life unscathed!

    • Ann

      Victim blaming again. Men will rape any woman no matter how she dresses.

  • Anna Hilda

    This graphic is glib and idiotic. Of course, rape is a failure of socialization. Of course, children of both sexes should be brought up to understand that rape is wrong. But rape will NEVER be eradicated. It is a crime as old as time and it will outlive us all.

    At the same time, it is a flat-out lie to say, as tumblinfeminist does, that “educating women about how to defend themselves [is] COMPLETELY ineffective.” There are absolutely things that women can do to lower their chances of being raped. Should they have to? No. But we don’t live in a utopia and we never will. Am I victim blaming? No. I’m just living in the real world.

  • Annie L.

    “If I can get through my day without assaulting someone, so can you. Pretty simple concept really, if you believe that you are control of your own actions at least.” -kjon

    This is the grossest arrogance I have ever seen. What you have essentially claimed here is everyone shares your abilities AND your ethics. Rapists don’t rape women because they can’t control themselves; they rape them because they WANT to. They are not rape addicts struggling with an addiction they’re trying to break; they are predators who do not care about the well-being (physical, emotional, spiritual–you name it!) of the victim.

    If you honestly believe that not raping someone is a matter of willpower, I suggest you found a 12-step program.

  • Felacia

    These comments are interesting. More or less, they all fall under the same umbrella: “because we are free to do something, therefore it is also wise to do it.”

    What so many label victim blaming is simply pointing out the lack of common sense employed by so many rape victims.

    A guy rides a motorcycle in a tanktop, shorts, flip-flops, and no helmet, and then a drunk driver (a criminal for driving drunk) hits him at 80 mph on the freeway. Are we blaming the victim to point out that, had the motorcycle driver worn appropriate clothing, his injuries might have either not happened at all or, at least, might have been much less severe? Does that remove any of the blame from the drunk driver?

    The answer to both questions is, “of course not.” Clearly the drunk driver is, in the end, the criminal and, thus, to blame. But the necessity for all types of precautions in life are simply FACTS of life, nothing more. It’s not about how we wish life were; it’s about how life IS. Had the motorcycle driver taken appropriate precautions, his injuries may have been avoided altogether, or at least mitigated. He made a choice to take a chance (a chance that, by the way, the law ALLOWS him to take). But every chance carries the obvious risk that it might not turn out the way you want; you might end up on the losing end of the chance that you are free to take, and that you choose to take.

    Applied to women, who are perfectly free to dress as they see fit: Take a given woman (in reasonably decent shape and with reasonably good looks; let’s not get into the variables of obesity or a repulsive degree of ugliness). So our normal, average woman gets dressed up 2 different ways for a night in a dark, loud dance club: Option 1) Dress her AWFULLY, just nasty and repulsive-looking in every imaginable way – ratty jeans, greasy hair, no make-up, cruddy tennis shoes, the whole bit. Option 2) Dress her in as slutty and sexually seductive of an outfit as possible, do her hair & make-up as seductively and over-the-top as possible, the ho-heels, etc. These two options are at 2 extremes. Anyone who says that her potential to be targeted by a would-be rapist is equal in both options 1 & 2 is just deluding themselves (to a ridiculous and laughable degree).

    Rapists are sick. Rapists are criminals. Rapists, however, are NOT generally blind men.

    Thus, we come to the obvious conclusion: If our average woman’s chance of getting raped in option 1 above is relatively low (if existent at all), and her chances of getting raped in option 2 above is much, much higher (even if small overall, it is much higher by comparison to option 1), then there is clearly a sliding scale (inarguably). The closer one gets to dressing in a highly seductive manner, the more danger one is placing themselves in.

    This is a fact of life. It is NOT right. It is NOT her fault that the crime ends up happening. But it IS a fact of life with which one can choose to deal or reject. But rejecting the facts does not make them go away; it just lulls one into a highly comfortable sense of cognitive dissonance.

    If I desire to take a ride on a dangerous subway line (and nightclubs are, in many instances, just as dangerous as bad neighborhoods), I can convince myself that I am safe wearing an Armani suit, a Rolex watch, and playing mindlessly with my iPhone while several hundred-dollar-bills hang out of my coat pocket. I know that I have a legal right to make each and every one of those wardrobe and accessory decisions. I also know that it is a crime for one to insert his knife into my person while mugging me. And, yet, were I to make such a decision and end up laying bleeding on the subway floor, would I not think to myself, “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea?” If I am able to think at all, then, yes, I would obviously think that I made some foolish wardrobe and accessory decisions, given the dangers inherent to the place I was about to go (the subway). Am I to blame for the commission of the crime? Not at all. Could I have exercised an incredibly higher degree of common sense and perhaps avoided the criminal? Well, let’s just say that it wouldn’t have hurt my odds.

    • Eileen

      Comparing a man in a motorcycle accident who didn’t wear a leather jacket to a woman who was raped and didn’t wear conservative clothing is not a fair analogy. Accidents happen, and while people may have caused them through their own carelessness, there’s no intent on anyone’s part – it’s an accident. A woman who was raped was assaulted because someone chose to assail her. This is not an insignificant difference.

    • b3v

      wow. oranges and apples here, or ridiculous disregard to the fact that many women are raped by acquaintances, not necessarily people they hang out with all sexed up? I, for myself was at a bonfire, in ratty jeans, a sweaters, sneakers, THE SEXY WORKS. I don’t know how he could’ve resisted drugging me, really. I’ve only reserved that special, sexy look for very special dates since then.

    • Elizabeth@IfsheCryOut

      Felicia, I was raped on my way home from synagogue wearing clothes suitable for attending a religious institution.

      I really, really, really wish clothes prevented rape.

      There are in fact only two things that prevent rape:

      a) prosecuting rapists to the fullest extent of the law and removing them from the general population.

      b) minimizing bystander tolerance – so that rapists whose MO involves social situations don’t feel free to ply their trade in bars, frat houses or beach parties.

      There is strong evidence that bystanders play a much more important role in rape prevention than individual behavior. By their very nature rapists are dis-repectful of individuals, considering their own desires and will more important than that of the other person. They sometimes do respond to group pressures. In any case, 2 or 3 people are much more able to physically stop or socially engineer away unwanted behavior than one person alone. Bystanders are important.

      The function of things like slut-walk or posters like the above is to encourage bystander involvement and reduce bystander rationalization. That won’t stop the rapist from ever raping, but it may convince him (or her) to try another place another day. If even one day or evening’s opportunity for rape is stopped, then one person is saved and the world is a better place.

      Beth
      http://ifshecryout.com/

    • D

      Holy.Fucking.Shit.

      Clothes prevent rape!!! Why didn’t I know this? Can you tell me, Felacia (lovely name), where would I go about finding such tricked-out threads? And are they available in “time travel optional”, so I can go back in time and be sure to wear them in place of the jeans & tee I was wearing when a young, white Marine raped me (first time, by the way) to the point that I needed surgery to fix that shit? Let me know, ’cause that would be fucking saWeet!

      You are a fucking troll. Your comment smacks of the same drivel I saw on the In Mala Fide website, where I originally found this graphic. Fuck you, and the tiny dick you rode in on.

  • kjon

    @Annie L – I’m really sorry to come off grossly arrogant. I think assault – maybe not rape specifically – is a matter a willpower to some degree. I’m sure a lot of people have retold a story of a some d-bag or another they wanted to “punch in the face” or “kick his/her a$$” for whatever incident. We say that, but for those of us that aren’t in jail for actually committing those acts, we probably wouldn’t do that.
    I realize that concept doesn’t extend so well towards rapists and for that, I take it back. I was only trying to say that even though people do things that make me angry sometimes and even though I’ve been the aforementioned “storyteller” before, I would never, ever hurt anyone. That’s why I used the “sex was in the air” and “her slutty outfit made me do it” excuses in my comment to point this out. These are things actual rapists have tried to use and *sometimes* people find that valid.
    I don’t think I need a twelve step program for making a comment that was slightly naive.

  • kjon

    Someone else smartly pointed out to me that it really doesn’t matter what the rapist wants or doesn’t want or what he/she can do as far as willpower. The only thing that’s important is justice for the victim and making sure that person gets what they need in order to recover (somewhat) from a tragedy such as rape. We, as women (shit, as human beings!), can easily see that victim-blaming is wrong. Isn’t that what’s important, here? I really hate it when people get so caught up in calling each other out and making abrasive and harsh comments towards others because it totally takes away from the essence of this cause. A cause that I support.

    Thank you for listening and sorry for talking so much. I may be naive but I have a good heart.

  • Genevieve

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve always loved the slightly feminist tilt of this site, which is why I choose it over other run-of-the-mill fashion sites. I believe the hardest challenge of all is to help survivors and women everywhere realize that assault happens because some people in this world are cruel enough to commit acts of violence in the first place. Everyone can be assaulted–no matter body type, weight, physical ability level, mental ability level, sex, gender, and least of all, clothing choice. People do not commit acts of sexual violence because they are attracted to their victim–they do it because they feel the need to act on a violent, dominating impulse.