Letters to the Editor

Defining "risky situation"

Defining "risky situation"

Re: “Prescott censured”

Dear Editors,

I'd like to ask Alexander Prescott to define for us a "risky situation". If they're so obvious that any rape victim should have known better, this ought to be easy to answer. In the meantime, let me point out that stereotypical ideas of risk don't line up with the facts:

'It's risky to go out' - but 80% of sexual assault survivors were assaulted in their homes.

'It's risky at night' - but 50% of sexual assaults occur in broad daylight.

'Walking alone is risky,' so maybe I should always travel with a male chaperone - but 70% of rapes are committed by a perpetrator who knows the victim.

What's next? Do I have to carry a gun at all times, as was recently suggested on Fox News? Maybe we should first try teaching men not to rape or be bystanders to rape. Vancouver's "Don't Be That Guy" campaign, which targeted men with education about consent, dropped rates of sexual assault by 10% in a single year!

Furthermore, rape is NOT "akin to an unarmed person wearing valuable jewellery walking down a street in a rough neighbourhood at night" and having "their property stolen", as Prescott claims. I can't exactly leave my vagina at home. I'm not being "negligent" or flaunting some imaginary wealth by merely existing. I'm a PERSON, not a fancy watch.

Besides, most people would report the theft of the fancy watch, and be believed. Sexual assault? Not so much. 1 in 4 Canadian women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime, but only one in ten sexual assaults is reported to police - and is it any wonder when people like Prescott want to place blame on those who are attacked?

Blaming victims enables a culture which believes assailants over survivors, keeping rates of reporting low and helping rapists get away with their crimes. So Alexander Prescott can spend all day saying "I don't condone rape culture," but the claim isn't worth the air to speak it. He believes rape victims bear a degree of responsibility for being raped. That IS rape culture.

In closing, I'd like to tell the three ASUS assembly members who resigned that they have my support. I suspect they're taking a lot of heat for 'overreacting' right now - but I believe they made the right choice.

Sincerely,

Morgan Williams, Sci '16

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