Your skirt is too short.
You are showing too much cleavage.
You've drunk too much.
You danced with the wrong man.
Why in the name of God are we still talking about victims like this? Is it not the 21st century?
Rape is NOT about the victim. The consequences of rape should be about the victim - crucially support, treatment, counselling and effective and real justice, I totally agree.
But rape is about the perpertrator. We need, as a community to start adressing rape. And it starts young. Maybe it's because of my history, but I see every potential young boy as someone who will misuse their sexual power in the future. And they need to learn. And they need to learn from us, the adults in their community about using that power for good.
This post today makes me sad.
At 19 life should be about having fun, wearing your skirts too short, showing a little cleavage, going out and having a life. At 19 I wasn't really having fun. I was settled too early, I was scared of men. I learnt too young that men abuse their sexual power. But I learnt at 5 (though it started earlier)
All my life I have lived both as a survivor, but yes, as a victim. I have been scared to wear the clothes I want, to live the life I want, to experience men without fear. I've felt safe covered in flesh and baggy outfits. I don't want to live like that any more.
I refuse to buy in to these messages about victims. Rape is about some men (and some women). It's about abuse. It's about a power differential.
If you are a woman, think. Think about survivors and think about supporting them in a real way. If you are a man also think. I love this post from James Parkin and urge you to read it too.
Rape is a responsibility of us all.
Ending sexual violence should be a priority to each and every one of us.