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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?

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.

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.

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


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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...

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