Friday, 21 May 2010

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The University of Minnesota has its own Police department, and every time a crime of some sort happens on or near campus (or to a student), it sends out a mass email. This was the one they sent out yesterday:
Full text of email )


Why am I saying this email perpetuates rape culture?

Because the rape happened in the bathroom of a restaurant. All the walking in brightly lit areas accompanied by a security escort could not prevent it.

Because mugging and burglary and theft and the sorts of physical assaults that accompany those crimes are different from sexual assault.

Because accompanying an announcement of a rape with a list of 'how to protect your valuables' instructions draws a straight line towards victim blaming, and treating bodies (primarily those of women, although I appreciate that the gender of the survivor has not been specified) as objects needing protection.

Because nowhere in the email is the concept of sexual violence or gender violence mentioned, nor a link provided to The Aurora Center and its 24-hour crisis line. Because the first number a rape survivor might want to call is not always 911, nor should it be.

Because in the five years I have been receiving public safety emails from the University, not once have I seen any acknowledgement of the fact that, in fact, the most efficient way to prevent rape is to educate potential rapists into an awareness of their actions that prevents them from raping.

Because prevention is supposed to be part of a polic department's crime fighting job, and rape culture within it needs to be talked about before it can even begin to be dismantled.

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deepad: black silhouette of woman wearing blue turban against blue background (Default)
Deepa D.

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