Constant Vigilance 1/4

Great way to break your hand, bad way to prevent sexual assault


Content warning: this post discusses sexual assault and various “prevention” tips. 

If you’re a woman in America, chances are you’ve been given rape prevention tips. You’ve been advised on how to walk, what to wear, and ways to arm yourself. You know to guard your drinks and hold your keys between your fingers as an improvised weapon. If you’re not a woman, youy may be unaware just how much of this advice exists or how frequently it is given. 

Here is just a small sampling of tips. 

  • Don’t wear a ponytail or easy to grab hairstyle.
  • Walk like you are in a hurry.
  • Check beneath your car as you approach. Check the backseat before you get in. Immediately drive away. 
  • Don’t walk, jog, run, or drive at night. 
  • Pretend like you are on the phone with someone. 
  • Stay alert. Don’t listen to music or look at your phone. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. 

Many, many, many tips are based on the complete falsehood that rape is unbridled sexual passion based on uuncontrollable list. In reality it’s a dominance display and an act of violence. These are some common absolutely useless tips. 

  • Wear baggy unflattering clothes.
  • Wait until you get to work to put on makeup. 
  • Soil yourself during an attack.
  • Throw up on yourself during an attack. 

Some tips that fall for this lie are dangerously wrong about what’s a risk factor.  The following tips actually increase the danger of a situation. 

  • Tell your attacker you are gay (as if “corrective rape” didn’t exist).
  • Tell your attacker you have a penis or are trans (2016 is deadliest year for trans women ever recorded).
  • Act “crazy” and unappealing (mentally ill women face higher than average rates of stranger and sexual violence). 

A whole host of “passive resistence” products are sold promising to keep women safe, yet they’re all centered around interrupting an assault in progress. These include: 

  • Difficult to remove underwear 
  • Difficult to removr pants
  • An internal latex condom with spikes one must wear all the time

    Then there are the products design to detect rohypnol: speciality drink glasses and stir sticks and a proposed but never released nail polishThe substance most commonly associated with sexual assault however is alcohol. To that end, here are some of the tips women are told.

    • Don’t drink. 
    • Never let someone else buy or pour your drink.
    • Keep your hand across the top of your drink so no one can slip in drugs. 
    • Seriously, don’t drink. 

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