‘Protect yourself’ is quite vague. My reading of it is that women must educate themselves about sexual harrassment and develop and maintain healthy boundaries.
I am a woman who has been sexually assaulted and harrassed and it progressed as it did because I hadn’t learned how to deal with it and had very weak boundaries. That isn’t victim blaming. That is identifying one of the factors that led to a longer, more traumatic experience.
The men concerned are entirely responsible for what they did to me independently of my weak boundaries. They assaulted me and took advantage of my behaviour.
Iris I agree. Good boundaries are extremely important, but at the same time it's absolutely not our fault if we are not taught growing up that we are allowed to have them, or if men decide to ride over them roughshod when we do assert them.
I'm sorry for what you've been through and I hope things are better now.
@MrsTerryPratchett I do agree with you, but teaching girls good boundaries and assertiveness should be alongside teaching boys what is acceptable and unacceptable. Society should have zero tolerance for sexual harrassment and assaults.