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?

OneMoreChap Wed 23-Jan-13 17:11:52

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.

Ah yes, we could all move to the US...
Rapists rape who they will; not always women, so a general be careful out there is a fine idea.

I used to live near a park that no-one went in. I walked through it a few times to prove I could walk through it (big fan of reclaim the night, BTW).

I'll add, in passing, that despite being an ex-prop I still carried a baton in my pocket, and I would have felt very nervous telling any woman she could walk through that park with impunity. Yes, you should be able to...

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 22-Jan-13 18:19:59

Actually, society would protect more women by issuing warnings to them not to live with men. Because women are mostly abused at home.

It's also a common rapist tactic to escort a woman home - to protect her from other rapists - and then rape her.

But again, what needs to change is the attitudes of some men, not a drive to curtail women'sfreedom.

kickassangel Sun 20-Jan-13 16:55:58

The difference is that the people (mainly men) who rape are actually out and targeting someone. They will keep going til they get what they want. Even date rape and family members who rape women are deliberately targeting and homing in on victims. So it's not just like leaving your house unlocked, it's like a con man hacking your system and stealing your identity.

The best way to reduce rapes is to have an anti-rape culture. So, telling men it's not ok to make certain'jokes or warning those kids in the park talking about women being up for it etc.

Rapists may lurk in the bushes of a dark park, or they may be the friend of a friend who is buying you a drink, flattering you and gradually edging you away from the group so that you are singled out. Rapists are rarely opportunists, they are criminals who target their victims quite strategically.

GotMyGoat Sun 20-Jan-13 14:04:20

Honeydragon, yes that vibe is very upsetting. Bloody infuriating.

onyx72 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:34:12

I live in Banbury and normally don't worry about walking home from town alone at night. But I use main roads and would never take a short cut down any alleys and certainly not through People's Park which does have a dodgy reputation after dark.
But the police should be publicising ways for women to keep safe such as sticking to well-lit routes or taking licenced taxis - not barricading themselves at home.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 20-Jan-13 11:29:02

"It's not about blaming people it happens to, it's about encouraging people to be more cautious and more viligant. "

Yes, but look how long it has taken to get to this stage, where it is recognised by the police that women are not to blame for their own rape. And even now it is not universal, as seen by the words of the Toronto cop or by the actions (or lack thereof) of the Indian police. It has been an uphill battle.

I remember watching a vid by a famous and respected Muslim cleric who, in his advocation of modest dress for women, asked this question: if a man sees two women, one who is covered, and one who is wearing a mini-skirt, which of those women is the man likely to harass?

He meant well because he thought he was protecting women, but it didn't occur to him that the root cause lay in the actions and attitudes of the harassing man, or that by pitting women against each other in terms of how they dress might lead to a competition of modest dressing that will eventually end in women staying in doors.

HoneyDragon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:16:27

FN

The comments on a local FB site were very much along the lines of "if you are stupid enough to walk through the park at that time of night you shouldn't be surprised if you get attacked"

That's what's bothering me.

FellatioNels0n Sun 20-Jan-13 11:10:18

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

Burlar alarm, maybe not, but you'd certainly get blamed for being naive and stupid if you went out and left your doors unlocked. I don't think it's a question of being 'blamed' is it? Who says anyone deserves to get raped because they went out alone, after dark and to an isolated place? Who is actually saying it is the fault of the victim here? It's not about blaming people it happens to, it's about encouraging people to be more cautious and more viligant.

People should not drink and drive, but that doesn't mean that I should not bother to wear a seatbelt. People should not push burning rags through my letterbox but that does not mean that I don't need a smoke alarm.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 20-Jan-13 11:06:29

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

Yes, it's wrong that ALL men should be inconvenienced because of the actions of a few. But at the moment we have a situation where ALL women are inconvenienced because of the actions of a few.

But perhaps when men's freedom is curtailed to the same extent that women's is, we might see some motivation to change, because let's face it, rape doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is an extreme manifestation of disrespect for women that pervades quite a fair bit of male culture and is less likely to be stopped by women than by other men calling out fellow men on their behaviours.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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>

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 22:08:03

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 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.

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

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now