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10 May 2010 @ 07:12 pm
The victim is never to blame. NEVER.  
Apparently, there has been another Con-related...thing.  (I say another, because of the Boob Incident two years ago.  My post on that here.)  I came late to the explosion across LJ this time, but from what I've been able to piece together, it actually has to do with an incident that happened two years ago at a Con (NOT the aforementioned Boob Incident), and someone subsequently being banned from said Con now, in 2010.  I'm only getting things fifth hand, apparently, so I don't want to go into the specifics here - it does appear no one was actually raped, but there was a situation with sexual or potentially sexual overtones.  More than that, I'm not going based on fourth and fifth hand accounts from other people's journals.  I wasn't there, and I have no eye witness posts to link to.  

But the responses to all of the above are what apparently has a lot of people really upset.  It seems the word "responsibility" has been bandied about, leading to discussions on victim blame.

I would think anyone who's read this journal for awhile would know my stance on that, but just in case, read the subject of this post.  

The victim is not to blame.  I say this as a 36-year-old woman who has been the victim.  As someone who has a concealed weapon's permit, regularly goes shooting, and has taught a women's self defense class multiple times.  I say it as someone who believes with everything I am that all women should be trained to protect themselves.  NOT because if they don't take that step, they're responsible if something happens.  NO.  But because I die a little inside with every story I hear about another victim, and there are a lot of us.  Because I want to hear more stories about how a potential victim escaped her attacker, or situation.  I do not care if a woman parades naked down the street, or goes out clubbing in pasties without underwear.  I don't care if she walks home to her apartment at 2:00am, alone, after six drinks in that exact dress. NONE OF THESE THINGS MAKES AN ATTACK HER FAULT.  

Are they risky behaviors?  Yes.  Absolutely.  I would always advise a woman to never walk home alone at 2:00am, drunk, or not.  But if she does, and something happens, it is NOT her fault.  Whoever robbed/raped/beat her is at fault.  PERIOD.  

So, I think I've stated that as clearly as I can.  

At the same time, I still advise women in general to take a self defense course - preferably something ongoing, as it is unlikely you'll recall something from a two hour class you took four years ago.  Get a concealed carry permit, go shooting, be familiar with whatever weapon you do carry, whether it is mace or something else (I know someone who got a face full of her own mace, because she used it when the wind was blowing toward her, instead of toward the guy who was threatening her.)  Don't walk home from the bar by yourself at 2:00am - in fact, don't go to the bar by yourself.  Go with three or four friends you trust, one of them a designated driver for more safety reasons than just driving.

But, that's just advice.  It has nothing to do with fault or blame.
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patron saint of neglected female charactersrose_griffes on May 11th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
I can't stop reading some of (the more stupid) posts. It's making me simultaneously teary-eyed and filled with rage.