Rape, Blame and Safety

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

National backbencher has apologised for remarking “there is a real issue with young ladies getting drunk” during a debate about .

The list MP defended his comments by saying he misunderstood the question because of background noise.

And he was forced to issue an apology on Twitter after a storm of negative feedback on the micro-blogging network.

He posted: “Sorry I did not hear what she had said. So my answer was totally out of context and I know that short skirts are not provocation.”

It is very very noisy in the pub at Adam Bennett in the NZ Herald reports:

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, who was sitting next to Mr Quinn, said the National MP had turned to him and told him he had been unable to hear the presentation properly.

“He seemed genuine,” he said

I think Russel’s comments make it very clear that Paul did not hear the context to the question.

In terms of the substance, I always find it useful to differenitiate between blame and safety. In terms of blame, the victim is never to blame for being raped. Nothing justifies rape = ever.

The Lady Garden blogs:

For the record, I could give a dude a blowjob in a bar bathroom, and if he then forced himself on me, it wouldn’t be my fault. Get it?

I agree entirely.

To use a well known example, if Mike Tyson invites you back to his hotel room at 2 am, and then has sex with you against his will, you are not to blame, he is. And in this case he was convicted of rape as he should have been.

However if a female friend of mine told me that Mike Tyson has asked her back to his hotel room at 2 am, my advice would be not to go – or at least not to go alone, as you might not be safe.

Likewise if you get invited to a party at the Mongrel Mob fortress, again my advice would be not to go. If you did go, and got raped, it would be entirely the responsibility of the Mongrel Mob rapists, but as we do not live in a perfect world, reducing risk is often a sensible thing to do.

This is not just about rape. If I was wearing a $20,000 Rolex and had $50,000 of cash on me, and attended said Mongrel Mob party, then there is an increased risk I’ll get beaten up and robbed. I would be the victim, and 100% not to blame. The muggers would be to blame. However I’d probably conclude not to attend any more Mongrel Mob parties with Rolexes.

It is NEVER a rape-victim’s fault that they were attacked. The responsibility lies with the criminal, and the criminal alone. Clothes, behaviour, what they’ve had to drink, their sexual past, proclivities, and promises are no fucking excuse, and don’t come into it at all.

I agree. They are no excuse, and all the blame lies with the criminal. It is atrocious that some men can’t accept this, and commit rape. It is a hideous crime.

However, and I say this with genuine concern, one does have to accept we don’t live in a perfect crime free world. And it is worth taking steps to minimise the probability of crime. No I don’t mean dressing like nuns and being a teetotaller. I do mean however being aware that if you get pissed, you may not be as able to prevent a crime occuring. So if you are getting pissed, maybe make sure you have a more sober friend with you.

Whn going home after a night out, consider the relative dangers of walking home vis a taxi. There are some suburbs that would not be particularly safe for either men or women to be going through at 3 am. if you get mugged or raped, of course you are not to blame because you took a short cut through (for example) Cannons Creek. But knowing we do not live in a crime free society, it might be a good idea not to do so.

It would be nice if we could leave our front doors unlocked and the car keys in our cars, without them being stolen. And if they are stolen, the thief is to blame. But generally I wouldn’t recommend people leave their car keys in their ignition.

Now again, I am in no way saying that women should not go out, should not drink alcohol, should not wear what they like, just to minimise the chance of rape.  All I’m trying to say is there are some evil bastards out there, and to use some common sense when out on the town – to look after each other.

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