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.

Comments

  1. #1

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

    Are these tips for preventing rape or destroying the entire world economy?

  2. #2

    "Stairwells are horrible places to be alone."

    This is absolutely true. Whenever I need a nice cry in college, I usually found a nice empty stairwell, cause I didn't want my roommate to find me crying. Also, whenever I get locked out at 3 am and have to wait five hours for someone with a key, I usually find a nice, warm, well-lit garage stairwell to hang out in. (Okay, this only happened the once, but damn! that was one boring-ass stairwell. I wish some creepy dude had come along so I would have had someone to talk to.)

  3. #3

    Seeing as I live more than five miles from the equator, it gets dark about 5pm in the winter. Should I quit my job so I can avoid walking alone in the dark coming home from work? What if I quit my job and get evicted and the only place I have to live is a stairwell? WHAT THEN?

  4. #4

    "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!!"

    "'Tis but a scratch!" Rapist vs. the Black Knight.

  5. #5

    ...tell me, are women ever responsible for anything that happens to them?

    When, how, and under what conditions?

    I'm sure that it won't take long to answer this in detail.

  6. #6

    "Seeing as I live more than five miles from the equator, it gets dark about 5pm in the winter. Should I quit my job so I can avoid walking alone in the dark coming home from work? What if I quit my job and get evicted and the only place I have to live is a stairwell? WHAT THEN?"

    Same here! Should I leave work early every day because I have to walk home?

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

    Okay, but what if I live in a so-called "bad neighborhood" and have to drive there at night to, you know, go home?

  7. #7

    What if you're going for a job interview, you get off on the 22nd floor because the boogyman got on...then you wait for the next elevator because you can't take the stairwell...but the boogyman comes back down to floor 22...you start running like hell screaming "4 out of 100! Most likely NOT a vital organ!" and then boogyman walks away with a look of confusion. Later you call the interviewer to tell him what happens, but before you get the chance he says, "I apologize for that crazy screaming lady, I hope that doesn't deter you from coming in for an interview"

  8. #8

    @Dorothy Thank you for making me laugh so hard so early in the morning! I love starting my day off with a perfectly applied Monty Python quote which revels the utter ridiculousness of these buffoons. I am literally crying I'm laughing so hard. Awesomeness.

  9. #9

    Phira, choosing to only have enough money to be able to live in a "bad" neighborhood means you are asking to be raped. Sorry.

  10. #10

    Why can't we see lists for men that are something like this:

    If you see a woman walking in a dark alley, DO NOT RAPE HER.
    If you see a woman sitting in the car next to you, DO NOT ABDUCT HER.
    If you see a woman in an elevator, DO NOT ATTACK HER.
    If a woman is running away from you, DO NOT SHOOT HER.

    Anything you do to these women is your fault. Shame on you.

  11. #11

    JFC1, you're a useless troll, but I'll feed you anyway.

    Like other people, women are responsible for what they do.

    Like other people, women are _not_ responsible for criminal wrongs done to them.

    For example, if I get drunk and drive my car into a bridge abuttment, I'm responsible. If I get drunk and pass out in the bathroom of a bar, and some other patrons rape me and take my wallet ... THEY ARE CRIMINALS WHO BELONG IN JAIL. Full stop. None of your coulda woulda shoulda shit. I have a right not to be victimized by lawbreakers; said lawbreakers bear full, complete and unqualified responsibility when they violate the law, not in any way mitigated by my lawful conduct. Whether you think my conduct is stupid is (1) irrelevant to me, since after the fact your criticism can do me no good; and (2) irrelevant to the specific circumstance, because it does not actually bear on culpability. In fact, whatever your criticisms are, there is no forum in which you should raise them. None. You should roll them up really tight, and shove them up your ass.

    Now, if I was a woman, same answer. Because women are people.

    Fuck off now.

  12. #12

    I shouldn't respond to trolls. So I won't.

    "the alternative is your fault if you do not act."

    Wow. It's great to know that if I am not capable of fighting back, or am scared and afraid to act (you know, that same stress that causes them to MISS WHEN FIRING A GUN AT ME) I can be safely blamed for whatever happens to me.

    I mean, if I don't gouge his eyes out, I am basically just consenting to sex, right, ladies?

  13. #13

    @Geographer girl: Always happy to make people laugh :)

    On a sober note: I am strangely reminded of the old "better dead than defiled"-thing here. It gives me the creeps.

  14. #14

    @Emily WK...yep...and you know if his heart is still beating and he should mistake you gouging his eyes out an expression of your passion, he may go ahead anyway, because as we've seen in thousands of informative post...consent is useless.

  15. #15

    This stuff would not be nearly so bad if women weren't *literally* treated as if we were responsible for being raped.

    I mean, if I leave my car door open, and I come back to find my car stolen, the police will likely say "Well, it was really stupid of you to leave the car door open." But if they find some guy joyriding in my car, they won't say, "Oh, she left the car door open, so it's okay that this guy stole her car! We're just going to tsk tsk at him and let him go. With her car." They will *arrest* him, and give me back my car. If my car never turns up, insurance *will* pay for it. People will express their opinion that I was dumb for leaving my car door open, but no one will act as if my foolishness makes the theft of my car NOT A CRIME.

    The entire reason "advice to women on how to avoid rape" should die in a fire is that the failure of women to follow such advice is treated, by the police, juries, and judges, as a mitigating factor that made what happened to them not a *crime*. Sure, going out and getting drunk and passing out in a bar is a dumb idea. And if a man did it, and woke up to find his clothes and wallet stolen, and eyewitnesses said Joe Schmoe was seen alone with the victim and is now sporting the victim's watch and shoes, Joe Schmoe would be arrested for theft and possibly assault even though the victim was drunk off his ass in a public place, always a dumb idea. Friends of the victim, and the police, may tell him he was dumb to get so drunk... but he will be treated as a crime victim, and if Joe Schmoe can be found, Joe Schmoe will be arrested. But when a woman does it, and discovers when she wakes up that she was raped, the fact that she was drunk in public is used as an excuse to declare that what happened to her wasn't even criminal. Because the things we own belong to us whether we are around to prevent them from being taken or not, but apparently, women's own *selves*, our bodies, are free game for sex any time we're not able to fend off men who want to use them.

    I don't object to being given advice on how to avoid being raped, but I do object to three huge things that hide behind such advice:
    - 80% of all murder victims, and the vast majority of all mugging and physical assault victims, are men. No one gives men this kind of advice. In fact, given that stranger rape is rare, and mugging and assault aren't, men are in *more* danger from walking down a dark alley than women are. My husband has been jumped and beaten up four times in his life, after dark each time. No one tells men "don't go out at night! You could get beaten up!" even though it's true and the risk's actually higher than the risk of being raped by a stranger.
    - 80% of all rapes are committed by a man the woman knows. This advice is useless against the majority of rapes. The real advice to women to prevent rape should be "Never be alone with a man; always gather in groups of women. When you spend time with men, always have another woman around who you trust." Except that everyone recognizes that that advice would be psychotic and disruptive to everyone's lives.
    - As I said, women are treated as if, should they not follow this kind of advice, they are to *blame* for being raped and the act wasn't even criminal. This is not true of any other crime. Well, except domestic violence. Which, surprise surprise, is also largely a male-on-female crime (it exists the other way around, in larger numbers than most of us guess, but no one even bothers to give men advice on not getting abused by their female partners.)

  16. #16

    Pretty sure I got all of this in a chain e-mail. So, either the police copied and pasted this from a chain letter, or someone copied the police in sending out that horrible chain letter. Neither is a great scenario.

  17. #17

    Wouldn't be the first time some idiot cop has taken a chain letter at face value and released it to his/her community as "important information"

    Jenkem, anyone? http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/jenkem.asp

  18. #18

    Quit feeding him and start flagging him. Maybe they'll ban his TCP/IP's.

  19. #19

    I absolutely received this in a chain e-mail -- worse, from someone I respect and thought "knew better" than to pass on this bullshit as advice (in her defense, I don't think she read it very thoroughly).

    As a campus anti-rape activist, I can tell you that the same bullshit underlies a lot of campus policy. At GWU, they actually used to advise you NOT TO FIGHT BACK despite overwhelming evidence that it would greatly reduce the completion rate of assaults.

    Furthermore, they until just last year, they said the best deterrent is threatening to report -- WTF?

    Luckily, it seems that has changed somewhat. Check out the tips now:

    http://gwired.gwu.edu/saccteam/prevention/riskreduction/

  20. #20

    Ooh, ooh, and no one has mentioned the poking his eyes while he's driving thing. I mean, if you're interested in protecting your personal safety, I think gouging the eyes of the person who is driving the car you're in (in the passenger seat, most likely, the most dangerous seat in the car) is probably not the best idea...

  21. #21

    Ah yes, the 22nd floor boogyman! So scary...

    Thank goodness we live in DC where no buildings have more than like, 12 stories. Phew. Sorry ladies, if you live in one of those tall buildings in Arlington, you're shit out of luck.

    Also: definitely recieved this via chainmail. On several occaisions. I find something new to laugh at each time.

  22. #22

    I believe the chain email I have seen also advises women to avoid wearing long hair and pony tails, so rapists won't have anything to grab onto. Really, the only way to avoid rape is to become a shut-in with a pixie cut who lives in a "good" part of town.

  23. #23

    @Jenny: Ha. One should also maintain an army of cats for an added measure of protection, and stop showering or maintaining personal hygeine so as not to tempt rapists!

  24. #24

    Snopes has a page with a similar chain-letter that specifically mentions that the "#1 thing" rapists look for in a target is hairstyle. Some of the most epic satire ever, or more evidence of our beloved Rape Culture(tm)?

    Here it is, in all its debunked glory: http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/rape.asp

  25. #25

    There are many problems with this list, and the immediate one that I see is that it focuses solely on stranger rape and abductions that occur in public/semi-private places. These account for a much smaller percentage of all sexual assaults than acquaintance rape. You are much more likely to be raped in your own home by someone you know than you are by a stranger in a stairwell or by Ted Bundy parking beside your car.

  26. #26

    Indeed, most women who are victims of rape and/or assault are attacked by someone they know. So better advice would be: "You know your husband/boyfriend/brother/father/uncle/family friend who is a guy/friend's brother/other males you run into during the proceedings of your day-to-day existence? If you see them coming, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE."

    Or, since this if for college students, and many college students are victims of date rape, we can sum it up "That guy buying you a drink? Kick him in the balls. HARD. Then run away."

    Yeah, I can feel my life getting better and better everyday with this advice. Time to head into the bomb shelter and hope no one ever finds me!

  27. #27

    Everyone ignores that the best advice is to learn self-defense, be aware when you're walking around at night, but other than that just live your damn life.

    I mean, cutting off all of my hair and staying home all of the time (with an army of cats, that made me giggle) to live in fear would just be such a lame existence. Shit happens, and you can't sit around fretting...the most effective bit is to fight the cultural problems that make us a "rapey" society by being an active, vocal citizen. Even if that makes you an evil, bitter, undersexed feminist in the eyes of people like jf1 (honestly, though, is it a big loss? I think not).

  28. #28

    A large portion of these "tips" have been circulating the Internet for years with subject lines like "Safety Tips for Women: Forward to All the Women You Know!"

    Glad to know the VSU is consulting a reputable source (email forwards) for safety info.

  29. #29

    @ Ms K

    In that vein read this post on Sexual Assault Prevention at http://girlwpen.com/?p=1729

  30. #30

    "Really, the only way to avoid rape is to become a shut-in with a pixie cut who lives in a “good” part of town."

    eh, then you'd still be subject to assault by any guy in the immediate area.

    So you should just accuse all of them of stalking you, and then you might be safe. Just say that any man that comes within a half-mile of any place that you might go is a stalker, have all such men arrested and interred indefinitely, that would be a good start.

    ...then you just have to worry about women with "inanimate objects" that they want to rape you with. But that would never happen.

  31. #31

    basically women are screwed because they can't make the world perfect and risk-free for themselves. That is, if it's important for them to be free of risk and live in a perfect world.

    If on the other hand your idea of happiness is to live in a world that is beyond your control, in which both risk and imperfection exist, in which you can't predict with 100% certainty what everyone around you will or will not do, then you're probably happy with the way things are right now.

  32. #32

    @Jenny (#3), You most certainly won't be able to afford a cell phone ("shame on you") after you lose your job.

  33. #33

    So, previous commentors along with the lovely Ms. Hess have quite effectively ripped the "prevention tips" to shreds. Just as a side note, I'd like to point out that the "self-defense program" they link to is also (I can't stress this enough) UTTER BULLSHIT. You cannot teach "assault resistance tactics" in "a period of several hours." It doesn't work like that. Classes like that are rarely more than the same don't-go-out-alone scare tactics that we've seen in the rest of the article, *sometimes* combined with a self-defense move or two which the average person *will not* remember in a crisis.

    If you want to be the type of person who can break an attacker's kneecap, gouge out his eyes, and walk away calmly, that's great! Get into a respectable self-defense/martial arts program and be prepared to train for months or (more likely) years. Realize that the likelihood of having to use such skills against the boogeyman in a dark alley is relatively quite small. Realize that if you use these skills in a situation later deemed "non-life threatening" you could go to jail and/or get sued (though this is less likely for women). Above all, don't believe *anyone* who claims to be able to turn you into Jackie Chan in a matter of hours. They are lying to you and they know it.

  34. #34

    "Everyone ignores that the best advice is to learn self-defense, be aware when you’re walking around at night, but other than that just live your damn life." Indeed. Taking a self-defense course, and staying in fairly strong physical shape, would be sensible steps to make you less easy to victimize if you ever encounter a bad guy. Certainly more effective than "not walking alone at night" and the like. Yet if a woman is attacked, and she didn't know how to defend herself physically, we don't hear the same rhetoric about "that was really stupid, if she cared about her safety she should have done X."

    That's a good thing of course -- learning self-defense is a smart thing to do, but women aren't blame-worthy for not doing so -- but why? I think it's because women's rape-prevention tips are focused on traditionally ladylike behavior. Walking alone at night, talking to strange men, and being in "bad" neighorhoods seem either whorish, low-class, overly daring, or all three at once. And people like to believe that a woman who was attacked must've been doing something "improper." That way, we can all feel that if we (or the women in our lives) just follow the script, we'll be safe.

    Also, taking a self-defense class implies that you might actually encounter a criminal one day, and need to defend yourself. Most people would rather think that if they stay away from bad neighborhoods and dark streets, they'll never have to meet one of those bad guys. (And I think a lot of this advice is coming from well-intentioned men; they would rather imagine their wife/daughter/sister staying out of harm's way entirely, rather than needing to fight back.)

  35. #35

    Aside from being the worse tips ever, as you said. These all center around victim blaming. If you don't do this . . . bad things won't happen. No one can live in fear of other humans. Not doing so doesn't mean that a woman will be raped. All that is is victim blaming in the sickest form, since it's not something that can be done anyway. You'd think they want all of us to stay in our homes and do nothing. And the sad thing is, that might be all they want.

  36. #36

    Self-defense is plain practicality--it's a shame, and no one's guilty if they don't do it, but it is a smart choice for a woman in our society.

    My parents put me in karate when I was 6 and I freaking loved it, even eventually earned a black belt. Once a dude grabbed me from behind in a Wal-Mart (I was 8 or 9) and my immediate reaction was to scream and kick him in the nuts. He muttered some BS excuse to my parents and ran off--never knew if it was an honest mistake (he said I looked just like his daughter) or a predator, but either way, I was able to do the right thing at the right moment.

    There's a way to encourage knowledge, awareness, and self-protection without victim-blaming. Our law enforcement officials just appear to be wholely ignorant of it.

  37. You can't delete the Internet!
    #37

    The text of the page was taken off, but here it is as it originally appeared:

    ____________________________________________________

    Home > Administrative Offices > Finance and Administration > Police Department > Areas of Operation > Crime Prevention > Sexual Assualt Prevention

    Police department

    Sexual Assault Prevention

    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)

    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.
    A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

    Be aware: look around you, check under the car as you approach it, look into your car at the passenger side floor and in the back seat.
    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.
    Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.

    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.
    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!

    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.

    Tips to saving your life, if you have gotten into a violent situation:
    REACT IMMEDIATELY: If he abducts you in a parking lot, and is taking you to an abandoned area, DON'T LET HIM GET YOU TO THAT AREA. * If you are driving, react immediately in the situation, and crash your car while still going 5 MPH. * 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.)
    RESIST: don't go along with him: run, if you are able: Yell statements "Help me," "Rape," or "I don't know this man." * You DO NOT want to get to crime scene # 2. DON'T EVER GIVE UP!

    Always keep your distance when walking past strangers on the street or in dark areas.

    GET A CELL PHONE.
    There are packages for $19.95 a month that allow you to program only 911 or 5555 (The VSU Emergency Number) into the dialing out program (this is for parents who say it is too expensive for their kids to have a cell phone.)

    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.

    Physical defenses that we can use against the violent predator:
    The number one, best target you can aim for is, of course, the groin. A good knee strike to the groin will ruin his day.
    The eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body. Poke him there and you have (possibly) your best window of opportunity.
    The neck is also a vulnerable spot. Two fingers in the clavicle notch (the v-shaped notch between the breastbone and the chin) will do the job for you.

    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.

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

    Sign up for VSU R.A.D. course. It's a self-defense course for ladies.
    Remember, awareness and the realization that it can happen to you are your best defenses.

  38. #38

    Absolutely disgusting.

  39. #39

    I wanted to read the entire list but it's been taken down! Can you post the tips in their entirety?

  40. #40

    While I disliked much of the wording of the tips due to their lack of context clues (see comment #1), as a victim of this sort of crime, I felt that they did have some merit. Remember folks, these sort of tips are often driven by statistical data, not common sense.

    What I found worse however was that the page was completely driven by the myth in this country that only women get raped. Notice that the R.A.D. program is "a self-defense class for women". There is no mention whatsoever in the tips or the R.A.D. course of the fact that these sorts of self-defenses classes and guidelines can be as useful in preventing the rape of a male as they in the rape of a female.

    Look at the stats: http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32361

    This is something that ought to be mentioned. And I agree with the NCVC article that these stats are under reported. I know that I didn't report my incident, mainly out of fear and a twisted sense of self-responsibility and shame.

  41. #41

    Thank god for Google cache and screencaps. They may have taken down the "tips" but they will still live in infamy!!

  42. #42

    Wow. I'm a former student and VSU grad. Typical southern cop mentality, blame the victim rather than focus on doing their jobs and making the community safer.

    Here's a link to the original via Google cache:
    http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.valdosta.edu%2Ffinadmin%2Fvsupd%2Fsexassault.shtml

  43. #43

    "What's that, lady? You dared to live as though you're not a fugitive on the run? Then I'm afraid there's nothing we can do for you - you deserved that raping."

  44. #44

    I think we're looking at this all wrong. The Valdosta State University Police Department is simply trying to tell us that, in their culture, the appropriate expression of the word "No" is actually "gouging" the person's eyes out. I mean, let's be culturally competent here -- we are talking about a culture full of blind, eye-gouged people.

  45. #45

    Em, self-defense wouldn't have helped me at all when I was assaulted, nor would it have helped several of my friends. While I'm not claiming that learning self-defense methods is a BAD idea, insisting that it's practical ignores the experiences of so many men and women whose assaulted would not have been averted if they had known specific self-defense methods.

    I put self-defense/RAD/krav maga in the category of the blue-light callboxes at various colleges and universities. Chances are, if you're in a rapey situation, they won't help you at all. You have to be in the "right" rapey situation for them to be at all effective. So insisting that it's practical ... well, is it?

  46. #46

    I worked for one of the County Council's in the UK for a year. Part of the personal safety course, delivered by a white, macho, 50-something year old man, devoted a section to similar tips. E.g. when you leave your car parked somewhere, remove clues that may mark you out as a VICTIM (woman in video takes copy of 'Elle' off dash and stores safely under car-set) - same thing probably applies to tampons, babies, dresses, kittens, Celine Dion CDs, Playboy logo car-seat covers, anything that marks you out as a woman, and one of life's natural victims.

    Also, if your car breaks down, lock the doors and phone for help and then MOVE TO THE PASSENGER SEAT so any potential rapists will not come over and wait you because they will assume you are waiting for someone to come back, i.e. the proper driver, who SHOULD be your HUSBAND.

    At this point in the 'training' I started pissing myself, It was so funny. However, in the depths of Lancashire (look it up, ha) these are considered "progressive" views.

    So, thanks for this, especially "I don’t know what this one means, but it doesn’t sound good". Brilliant.

  47. #47

    Please. Will you all stop whining? Some people try to help and you bitch about it? Come on. Tell me what's wrong about somebody trying to help you not get attacked. Ill advised or not,maybe change the language some, but at least it's an attempt. Perhaps any of you could do better?

  48. #48

    Please shut the fuck up. Somebody's trying to help you,

  49. #49

    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.

  50. #50

    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.

  51. #51

    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.

  52. #52

    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.

  53. #53

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

  54. #54

    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.

  55. #55

    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.

  56. #56

    @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.

  57. #57

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

  58. #58

    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.

  59. #59
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