Ladies, don't go out alone at night

(59 Posts)
GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 20:04:43

There was an attempted rape in my town in the early hours of the morning, in a park. All terryfying and awful.

But I'm feeling REALLY uncomfortable about the local response, in the media and on local facebook sites the message is "Ladies, don't go out alone at night". Which in my mind is victim blaming, and makes me feel controlled and limited. I wouldn't mind if he message was "People, watch out". Dh understands i think, but is it unreasonable of me to push away all the menz warning me to stay safe indoors?

GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 21:23:28

Lapsus, I need to see what the local police have actually said, will definetley forward that to them if they are the ones spreading this message and not our newspaper.

HoneyDragon, I remeber chatting on another thread about you being near by. it's quite a sensitive issue - I understand why people are saying these things, because they're scared etc., so I don't want to run in with a "Shut up!" kind of thing and look deranged.

BodyUnknown Sat 19-Jan-13 21:24:39

I live in Banbury... where did this happen? How awful. Such a small, low crime ordinary town (you'd think) with a rapist on the loose.

I know it's horrid to think of 'blaming the victim' but if my daughter were 10 years older I'd be warning her not to walk alone late at night in a miniskirt. I have walked past teenage lads in the town centre in daylight hours loudly assessing whether passing women are 'up for it' based on their style of clothing - who's to say one of them with a drink or ten inside him isn't a potential rapist?

And one of the things I have learned on MN is how much more likely women are to be raped, attacked etc by people they know rather than some random stranger in a dark park.

Implying that women can keep themselves safe (putting the onus on the women) by not walking alone, not wearing short skirts, not drinking too much is therefore a total fallacy, no?

scurryfunge Sat 19-Jan-13 21:29:33

Yes Hearts, stranger rapes are rare. Most women who are sexually abused are abused by people they know or who are acquainted with.

GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 21:35:44

People's Park Body -, there's a little info on the Banbury Guardian website.

Generally I think of Banbury being harmless, a bit mouthy and very druggy but not really violent.

Hearts, I agree entirely. By suggesting we can make ourselves safer, is actually putting some of the blame on the victim.

kickassangel Sat 19-Jan-13 21:37:29

It is more likely for a man to be mugged than for a woman to be raped if walking alone at night.

More rapes happen at home than attacks outside the house. So the way for women to keep safe is for them to go out.

But what actually makes a woman at risk has nothing to do with her clothes or make up or where she is. A woman is at risk if there is a rapist nearby.

The rapist is the problem, not the park or her skirt.

HoneyDragon Sat 19-Jan-13 21:37:45

Yes. Same here. We had a case last summer as well where a woman was approached and intimidated, but thankfully escaped unharmed.

The response was a rush to purchase personal alarms and insist that no female go out unaccompanied.

LapsusLinguae Sat 19-Jan-13 21:43:58

GotMyGoat glad you found it useful!

GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 21:47:17

Kickass, I like your statistic.

I hate personal alarms, I have a friend who used to clutch hers on the way home. I don't think it made her feel safer. No harm if it does make you feel safe though, I suppose.

kickassangel what a brilliant, succinct way of putting it... A woman is at risk if there is a rapist nearby.

still don't want my DDs walking around alone at night

GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 21:51:30

Hearts, no I don't want to be out alone at night, but I'm much more scared of being mugged at night then I am of being raped.

DameMargotFountain Sat 19-Jan-13 22:08:03

the only good use for personal alarms is to batter an 'assailant' over the head with it! - wtf is anyone going to do if they hear a really loud bleeping? call the police? no - turn back over in bed and have a go at their neighbour for their car alarm going off angry

GotMyGoat Sat 19-Jan-13 22:16:45

I think they're meant to be super high pitched and unique, maybe they should have a computerised voice that says 'Rape. Call the police' or perhaps more useful than that, a button which calls 999 automatically.

Did anyone see that big red button thing that was advertised here a while ago? Makes me think of that, A service who you call if you are worried, and then the will call the police for you. I'm not sure how the feedback went for that.

DameMargotFountain Sat 19-Jan-13 22:22:56

I do remember that Got and saw someone trying to advertise a similar scheme on a fb page - what a waste of fricking time, call the bloody police if you think you're in danger, not some underpaid call centre staff who have to read from a script so they don't get the sack <fumes>

Lessthanaballpark Sat 19-Jan-13 23:41:34

If there is the case of a local rapist on the prowl and police feel they need to keep women safe until the rapist is caught, surely they should issue a warning to all men to stay at home, and any man out after a certain time will be treated as suspicious.

sashh Sun 20-Jan-13 07:19:22

surely they should issue a warning to all men to stay at home, and any man out after a certain time will be treated as suspicious.

^^

This.

The fewer women who go out after dark the more danger the women who are out are in.

In some countries it is completely normal for anyone to walk around at any time.

And 'after dark' - so how the hell are you supposed to get to work and back?

FellatioNels0n Sun 20-Jan-13 07:28:58

It's a very difficult one, this. I don't think it's victim blaming per se; it's no different to saying 'please don't drive unnecessarily in the ice and snow.' It is a temporary situation that will affect a particular demographic and extra vigilance/sensible precautions should be taken while the situation prevails.

Snow/ice melts, no more immediate danger, attacker caught, no more immediate/obvious danger.

Of course the onus should be on men not to rape, but I don't think it hurts for women to be sensible/vigilant about situations where sexual attack may be more likely. The onus should be burglars not to burgle us, but we still lock our doors and buy house alarms. confused

There are all kinds of risks to walking alone in isolated places at night - not just sexual attacks, muggings, men being beaten up by other men just for fun, etc. But in this instance the police believe there is a sex attacker targeting women. They would say the same if they thought someone was targeting men, or the elderly, or ethnic minorities.

Maybe a blanket "Protect Yourself" campaign would work?
*Take well lit / busy routes when walking alone after dark
*Try to travel in groups where possible
*Let a friend or family know you are heading home and let them know when you get in
*Use a registered, pre-booked Cab
*Keep valuables out of sight

chibi Sun 20-Jan-13 07:45:50

why should i not go out at night? Surely it is far more sensible to have a curfew for men? thatmakes far more sense. If they really need to go out (surely they can plan around that though?) they could arrange to have a couple of women escorting them.

HoneyDragon Sun 20-Jan-13 08:49:10

Yes but if you do get burgled no one blames you for not having a burglar alarm.

Or says you shouldn't have an expensive lap top/ tv in the house therefor you were asking for it sad

Well, no, Honey, but theyd probably raise a few eyebrows if they knew you leave your doors.open when you go.out.

In a perfect world, we could leave pur.doors.open, after all, people shouldnt burgle. But, they do, and often a locked door is a sensible precautionary measure.

BigStickBIWI Sun 20-Jan-13 10:27:36

But a curfew for men assumes that all men are rapists, which is just as troubling

chibi Sun 20-Jan-13 10:52:39

my heart is bleeding for poor old nice men who are troubled at being mistaken for rapists.

if my curfew idea is a no go, how about heavily arming all women from birth. nothing crazy, like chemical weapons, just high calibre firearms.

women now have to negotiate the world with the knowledge that any man they encounter might be a rapist, and that they can't know which ones are until it's too late. it might be fun for men to negotiate the world knowing that not only do all women have guns, some might be all too happy to shoot them, and they won't know until they are full of holes.

maybe fun is not the word i am looking for- maybe fair. no, fun works too smile

chibi Sun 20-Jan-13 10:53:59

gold plated too true about the locked doors. how does one lock a vagina?

HoneyDragon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:04:04

I think the stay in vibe is allowing a woman to take the blame, whilst making the authors feel good about themselves for caring.

The people saying don't go out will still expect the tills open in the garage, people to be in the hospitals, supermarkets, night clubs and bars to be open in Banbury.

If those women then walk home and are attacked they can still say I told you so. That's the vibe I am getting.

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