The Sexist

The Worst Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Ever

The great folks over at SAFER Campus pointed me to the most ludicrous Sexual Assault Prevention information page ever, courtesy of the Valdosta State University police department. Instead of providing valuable information for men and women concerning the most common form of sexual assault on a college campus—acquaintance rape—Georgia-based VSU has published a 13-point victim-blaming guide that manages to shame women for climbing stairs, not gouging a dude's eyes out, and failing to be constantly vigilant of the serial killers who walk among us.

The worst of the worst, after the jump.

Women: Nature's victims. According to Valdosta State coppers, women "make easy targets for random acts of violence" for three reasons: (1) they're dumb; (2) they insist on walking around like dainty little ladies; (3) they go places girls aren't allowed.

The three main reasons women make easy targets for random acts of violence are:

* Lack of awareness (you MUST know where you are & what's going on around you.)

* Body language (keep your head up, swing your arms, stand straight up)

* Wrong place, wrong time (DON'T be walking alone in an alley, or driving in a bad neighborhood at night)

One major deficit of female "awareness": Awareness of that serial killer parked next to you.

Some women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.). DON'T DO THIS! A predator could be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. . . . If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. A lot of serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

Better just stick on the ground floor, ladies. First rule of multi-level buildings: Always remember that "stairwells are horrible places to be alone." Second rule of multi-level buildings: Always remember that elevators are horrible places to be with other people. Ask yourself: Do you really need to get above the lobby today?

Always take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone.)

* Do not get on an elevator if your instincts tell you that something is wrong (Remember, bad men don't always look bad).

* Do not stand back in the corners of the elevator, be near the front, by the doors, ready to get off.

* If you get on the elevator on the 25th floor, and the Boogie Man gets on the 22nd, get off when he gets on.

Know your predator shooting statistics. Stop freaking out, delicate ladies: "it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ."

If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS run!

* POLICE only make 4 of 10 shots when they are in range of 3-9 feet. This is due to stress.

* The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

Live in fear of all other humans. If you don't, you may get yourself raped.

Women are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT, it may get you raped, or killed.

Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

If you don't gouge his eyes out, whatever happens to you is all your fault. Yes: It actually says that.

If he's driving, find the right time, and stick your fingers in his eyes. He must watch the road, so choose an unsuspecting time, and gouge him. It maybe your ONLY defense. While he is in shock, GET OUT. (This sounds gross, but the alternative is your fault if you do not act.)

Stepping outside your car at noon on a Monday: Risky business.

BREAKDOWNS: (avoid this by ALWAYS keeping your car in good working order)

* If your car breaks down, you better have a cell phone to call for help, and lock your doors.

* Keep a blanket, and a pair of warm clothes and boots, and a flashlight in your car always for emergencies.

* If you don't have a cell phone, shame on you.

* If it's noon on a business day, you MAY want to put your hazards on and walk to safety.  If it's 2 a.m. and you're close to a populated and well lighted area, go there ASAP. Otherwise, your best bet is to stay in your vehicle.

Do not leave shelter after sundown.

If you are walking alone in the dark (which you shouldn't be) and you find him following/chasing you:

* Try to get to a lighted area, preferably a populated area.

* If he's following you, cross the street. If he follows you, turn around and look at him. He will know that he can now be identified and that he has lost the element of surprise.

* If he chases you, yell for help and run!

* Find an obstacle, such as a parked car, and run around it, like ring around the rosy. This may sound silly, but statistical data shows that this has SAVED LIVES.

I don't know what this one means, but it doesn't sound good.

Never let yourself or anyone that you know be a in any type of business (bar, store, restaurant, gas station).

Make sure to sign up for more great tips, in a class where a police officer will almost surely refer to you and your friends as "ladies," without irony.

Sign up for VSU R.A.D. course. It's a self-defense course for ladies.

And now, for some less sarcastic commentary: Here is what the sexual assault policy gurus at SAFER Campus have to say about these tips:

The University’s Police Department’s website for Sexual Assault Prevention is deeply offensive, misogynist, heterosexist and perpetuates myths about the reality of sexual assault. . . . It is difficult to believe that University endorses such so-called “life-saving” victim-blaming advice, which frames women as naive "easy targets", overly "sympathetic" and illogical. This patriarchal and patronizing advice does nothing to address rape culture on campus, date rape or acquaintance rape. The school is informing students that a violent experience of sexual assault is their fault. No information was found that suggests that a sexual assault victim may be male or transgender.

  • Banyan

    This is slightly off topic but informative nonetheless. A crash course in self-defense probably won't help you in the case of a physical or sexual assault. If you want to learn how to defend yourself I would recommend boxing, muay thai, or brazilian jiu-jitsu. The advantage to these styles is that they actually work in a fight as demonstrated by their use in the UFC and other cage-fighting organizations. They help you deal with the fear and stress of an altercation, because you experience that fear in smaller doses by punching kicking and wrestling a live and resisting opponent. Actually for women who feel uncomfortable wrestling with a guy, some gyms offer women only grappling classes. This advice is for people who would like to learn self-defense for their personal protection.

  • Brennan

    We're "whining" as you put it not only because the advice is useless (which it is), but because it seeks to limit women's lives in the name of "protection." It's an old argument; not too many generations ago, a woman could not travel without a man for "protection." Were men of that generation so much more dangerous than men of this day and age, who can fit a handgun in their back pockets? I doubt it. Were women less capable--less autonomous--due to the restrictions placed on them? You bet your ass. This is the same crap in a diluted form. "Don't travel after dark, don't get out of your car, don't talk to strangers." The only measurable effect is the infantilization of women, and this generation won't stand for it.

    So, no I won't shut the fuck up. You first.

  • Brennan

    Banyon,

    You're absolutely right about "crash-courses" being essentially useless, but I'd be wary of a style that focuses exclusively on cage-fighting as well. In a cage-fight the object is to win. If you're attacked on the street, the object is to maim or kill the other guy as quickly as possible. But, this is neither the time nor the place to continue the Epic Style Debate, and you're right about the psychological benefits, the importance of training, ect.

    Full disclaimer: I study traditional Tae Kwon Do myself, so I'm biased.

  • Ben

    Looks like they took all the info on that page down. Great job Amanda! They could use some tips themselves on how to treat/talk to victims.

  • snobographer

    #5 - tell me, are rapists ever responsible for raping people?

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  • Merin

    This is the most hilarious piece of advice I have ever read. It ranks right up there with the pamphlet I was given prior to my trip to El Salvador with Miami University. The pamphlet was supposed to talk about cultural sensitivity and being aware of cultural norms surrounding dating and relationships. Instead, it made a pretty fast downward spiral to "We know you're going to do everything you see down there, so just remember to have a condom at all times" topics. No specific information about finding out about cultural taboos and nothing about "hey how about avoiding that while helping kids brush their teeth." Nope! You're a woman going into a foreign country for aid work...and that makes you a USA-Grade hooker.

  • jemand

    honestly, I am having difficulty distinguishing between the satire and the snark in response to these comments and the actual "suggestions." I think... I'm going to leave it that way and pretend the whole thing is a joke 'cuz the alternative is just too depressing.

  • Will fight back

    @JackO: Who is responsible for infantilising us? Every person who thinks women can't take care of themselves, and so if they're not physically strong enough to break free from a rapist when they're walking home in the dark, they deserve what they get and should not have been walking alone in the dark, anyway.

    I come from a culture which has developed into possibly the most misogynist I've heard of. When I was 15, I acquired my first stalker - when I used public transportation to go to Math classes. In broad daylight, by the way. There was one single, solitary man, in the three scary days that I was stalked, who actually helped me. Everybody else looked at it as 'You're travelling alone, you're wearing a pair of jeans (it's not done, you see, only women of loose morals wear jeans, coz you can see that you have legs, and men can't stand such temptation) you asked for it. Don't do things that get you in trouble.' The last incident I had was when a friend and I wanted a cup of coffee at midnight (assignment deadlines, you see), and went out for it, having run out of coffee. This time, two guys stopped us, but guess what, we fought back and they ran away. We didn't go for the eyes, by the way... My friend went for the throat, and I, being short, went for the shin and instep. They attacked us because we had no business being out at midnight, and were therefore asking for it.

    I still go out at night, if I want to. I still walk alone in the dark, when I have to. That doesn't make it right for me to be attacked again - which I feel is inevitable - but whoever does so will also get a face full of pepper spray. I doubt I will report the crime, because the typical response will be, 'It was your fault.'

    None of us are arguing against prevention. We're arguing against the point of view that it's the victim's responsibility to avoid being assaulted by 'not asking for it' by, for instance, walking alone in the dark. The attackers are the ones to blame - they should not, well, attack! We don't want to be assaulted. We also don't want to stay locked up inside our homes (with really short hair) to avoid being attacked. Stop telling us to not do lists and lists of things - use that energy to find ways of making sure that there are less rapists and attackers! Stop trying to curtail our freedom for our safety - we'd rather walk alone after dark in safety. Why, is that impractical? Well, voluntary solitary confinement (again, with very short hair) to avoid being assaulted is a lot more impractical.

  • Madeleine

    The original post is no longer available, does anyone know where its text can be found?

  • Leah

    Are you serious? I am 100% certain that several of those "tips" went around as email forwards in that exact language about 15 years ago. Good to know the VSU police are going to real expert sources.

  • Leah
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