Jul 192011

Trigger warning.

I’m working on the sexual assault bystander program, so this is on my mind:

For the record – because there appears to be some controversy on this point – there is nothing, nothing, nothing anyone can do that is so bad that it is punishable by rape.

Getting drunk is not a crime that earns the punishment of rape.

Walking home alone at night is not an act so heinous that a person (or, let’s face it, a woman) who does so deserves to be raped.

Trusting someone enough to go into their room is not such a terrible thing to do that rape is just what you get if you do it.

Having sex with someone doesn’t mean they’re subsequently allowed to rape you.

Trusting your uncle, grandfather, sibling, or teacher is not an irresponsible thing to do, so that when that person abuses your trust, well, that’s what you get.

Think to yourself: what could my daughter, my sister, my mother, my son, my brother, my father, my husband, my wife do that would cause me to say, “Well, that’s what you get.”

And also for the record: there is no difference between “Well, that’s what you get for doing xyz” and “I’m not saying that’s what they deserve, but they really should know better and protect themselves!” No difference. None.

It’s not your job to “know better.” I want everyone to be safe, but if they make a choice that potentially puts them in harm’s way, it’s not their fault that harm was there.

Whose fault is it that harm was there? Well.

Andrew sent me this excellent link. Safety tips to prevent sexual assault.