Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work.

Blackink shared this on Twitter, and I thought it was worth reposting here. Without further ado, via No, Not You, here are ten sexual assault prevention tips that are 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.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.

Without getting too ranty, let me just say that the sexual assault prevention tips given to women are such garbage. Rapists are responsible for stopping rape, not victims. It’s like the Canadian case I posted about a few weeks ago: rape is never a ‘crime of opportunity,’ and especially not if you create the opportunity by drugging a woman.

These tips made me laugh, but they’re also awesomely simple and effective. If we could circulate this among boys and young men, while simultaneously teaching everyone how to exercise good judgment and be aware of their surroundings, I think it’s safe to say that we’d all be much better off.

14 thoughts on “Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work.

  1. Scipio Africanus September 18, 2009 at 11:42 am Reply

    Honest to goodness, I knew where this was going before I read any of the tips. The underlying point, that sexual assault happens because of the assaulter, not because of the victim/assaulted is good and should be way more widespread and inveterate in society. I tend to wonder how much of sexual assault cases are due to people thinking it’s okay to do, versus how many are perpetrated by people who will do it regardless of what they’ve been told by society? There have to have been studies on that question. If it can be shown that lots of instances of this type fo assault are affected by society’s attitudes, this could really, really work to bring it down to minimal levels.

  2. darkfaculties September 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm Reply

    I’m curious; is there any evidence for the following statement?

    These tips made me laugh, but they’re also awesomely simple and effective.

    Because it seems extremely counterintuitive to me. The author seems to be suggesting (and please correct any misinterpretation) that the only, or most important, factor standing between rape and non-rape is the perpetrator/non-perpetrator’s ignorance of the moral turpitude of the act. With all due respect, this is an extremely naïve position to hold. There will always be those who place their own desires before those of others as well as those who simply enjoy the intoxication of violence and power. If the prospect of societal and legal sanction hold no sway with these people, what exactly do you think abstract moral arguments will do? The “tips” above seem to amount to little more than a prescription to “Just Say No” to one’s darker urges.

    I’m also honestly curious as to what other sorts of crimes the author believes this general principle of self-enforcement applies to. Should we also place our faith in the moral forbearance of the embezzler, the drug-dealer, the child slaver, the murderer? It’s a poor bet if you ask me. It’s far better for people to start from the working assumption that there are people out there who do bad things—moral education notwithstanding—for which one ought to be at least somewhat prepared.

    • shani-o September 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm Reply

      Well, the statement you quoted seemed intuitive to me. But you raise a good point; that is, Bad People do exist, and that we should be aware of them. That’s why I wrote in the post, that in concert with reinforcing the idea that it’s not a victim’s job to stop a rape from occurring, we need to teach everyone to exercise good judgment. There are lots of violent crimes that are committed — kidnappings, muggings, carjackings, violent physical attacks, etc, that do not have a sexual component, and we don’t shame or blame the victim for not protecting themselves from the perps. (Unless you’re in a Cracker Barrel in Georgia.

      The real point of the tips, I think, is to turn the notion of “these are things potential victims should do to protect themselves” on its ear. Hopefully those who read it stop and think about the fact that committing rape is the responsibility of the perpetrator; and not that women are walking victims who must always be vigilant, lest they be attacked. Your point about being prepared for bad things stands, but there’s a difference between being prepared (everyone should be; men and women) and living your life with potential victimhood constantly hanging over your head.

    • NinaG September 18, 2009 at 6:23 pm Reply

      Many of these tips highlight stranger sexual assault. The reality is that most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows – talking to rapists in these cases about consent and how to prevent rape could go a long way.

    • first lady September 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm Reply

      I don’t think anyone would read this and believe that people with anti-human intentions will magically see the light after reading this list, but the fact is that some people don’t really see sexual assault as a crime. To them it’s a misunderstanding or a woman just playing hard to get.

      And considering a sizeable portion of sexual assaults are perpetrated by those who know the victim, maybe something like this will give them a bit of a wake up call and remind them that no, it’s not boys being boys or a joke, it’s a crime.

    • darkfaculties September 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm Reply

      Thanks for the replies everyone; I think I get the point a little better now. But I don’t really know what this means:

      it’s not a victim’s job to stop a rape from occurring

      Discussions of whose “job” it is to prevent rape seem beside the point; we’re better off thinking about what actually works to prevent it. Technically it’s not my job to prevent myself from getting hit by a car when I have the right-of-way crossing the street, but I still look both ways regardless. Generally I’d rather take advance preparation measures if it could prevent something catastrophic than adopt the “not my job” position at the expense of common sense, and that goes for any crime for which I might find myself at risk.

  3. Judith September 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm Reply

    This makes me so fucking happy, because when I was in law school a couple of years ago the University of Iowa Chief of Police sent out an email with almost those exact same tips, reversed of course, “for women.” I was so pissed off. Don’t do the fucking laundry alone? Don’t get in an elevator? Are you shitting me? This is a great way to turn it around and put the focus on the abuser. I’ll be linking your post on my blog 🙂

    • shani-o September 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Thanks! And yeah. I hate those “tips” because they put the onus on the victims. Like I said above, there’s exercising good judgment, and there’s living a life in fear because every man is expected to be an attacker with no will of his own.

  4. April September 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm Reply

    Sorry, but I don’t think anyone mistakenly rapes. It’s one thing if you’re arguing that society should place the onus on perpetrators, not the victims, but I’m a bit perplexed by the idea that men should be armed with tips (even tongue-in-cheek ones) so that they don’t cross over the line. I feel like that should be filed under “common decency” and “home training,” along with a primer on what entails consent (as NinaG suggests).

    Indeed, “rapists are responsible for stopping rape, not victims,” and I don’t think they’re very interested in changing their ways. That’s why, while many “tips” given to women on the subject may be unrealistic and/or feed into the notion that the onus is on us, I think we could still benefit from some reinforcement: Don’t wander off tipsily after a party with a guy you barely know. Drink responsibly. And let’s be honest: no means no, but following the path of “I’ll do everything but…” rarely works out as intended. In some cases, perhaps a woman didn’t plan for a rendezvous to culminate in sexual activity, but it’s naive to think a late-night hookup, especially if it involves physicality, doesn’t have the potential to go there. That’s why rape cases are often so difficult: often the line is too blurry to justify a conviction.

  5. Leigh September 19, 2009 at 11:01 am Reply

    I think the point of this satirical list – as that’s what it is, if you see the OP, satire – is to expose the “tips” for women cops etc. issue as absurd and misplaced. Unfortunately, society treats rape and violence against women as an area as up for debate – was she asking for it comes into the majority of cases that make it into the criminal justice system, it seems. That violence against women is perpetrated mostly by men women know enhances that allegedly gray area by posing rape as a potentially legit outcome of a private relationship. So this list and it’s rather black-and-white list of what not to do undermines that, well, she should have known better than to do her laundry at midnight bullshit that’s treated as legit in the courts/public discourse.

    Yes, this list might be off base because it is aimed at strangers, but so are the tips lists they’re mocking. I think the simplicity and satirical nature of this list is effective if it makes just one young man think twice about his actions or the actions of other men around him when he’s out in public. Awareness doesn’t just have to be about one individual’s behavior, but about how we interact with one another in the world.

    Now we need one of these lists for the reality of violence against women perpetrated by the men they know.

  6. SarahMC September 20, 2009 at 8:29 pm Reply

    I love this list and posted it on our blog as well. Thanks for highlighting it!

    And folks, it’s tongue-in-cheek. It’s intended as social commentary, not an *actual* card of tips to hand out to men and boys. All of society needs to rearrange it’s head when it comes to male violence against women.

    • April September 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm Reply

      If this was intended to be in reply to me, I’m fully aware that it’s satire–note my parenthetical remark above. I just don’t think it’s effective. It’s a prime example of preaching to the choir. People–men and women–already know the slogan “no means no”…it’s been drilled into most students from middle and high school. Again, IMHO, it comes down to home training and common decency. While I do agree that rape/sexual assault victims are at times unjustly blamed for their victimhood, I also think many of them do put themselves in bad situations that are easily avoidable.

      • SarahMC September 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm Reply

        Not just you.

        It does come down to home training. Maybe if parents taught their sons – not just their daughters – about sexual assault and rape, it would not happen at the rate it does. Maybe if every other source of dialogue re: sexual assault and rape focused on the rapists’ behavior rather than the victims’ it would not be such a huge problem.

        “I also think many of them do put themselves in bad situations that are easily avoidable.”

        You have a lot of company. Still not sure why you’re picking on this little piece of writing.

  7. […] to my point, which is the awesome sexual assault prevention tips post I found this week on the blog Post Bourgie (recommended by Ann at Feministing, thanks for the head’s up!): 1. Don’t put drugs in […]

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