On Monday night, the Department of Public Safety at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs posted a list of 10 tips to help female students defend themselves against rapists. These “tips” have created a large debate as it includes controversial advice to female students such as informing their attacker “that you have a disease or are menstruating,” and, “Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.”
Other tips include, “passive resistance may be your best defense,” and, “understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.”
First, telling a girl that her actions may lead her to more harm insinuates that she is somehow at fault for being a victim of rape. It is never the victim’s fault. Second, “passive resistance?” So, if a woman is about to be raped, she should subtly decline? “Excuse me, sir, I don’t have time for this.” That’ll get things done.
These tips immediately victimize females before they actually become victims. At the point in time where a girl would have to employ these tactics, is the cause not already lost? The goal should be to prevent rape altogether, not stop an attack once it’s started. These suggestions assumes a woman is already in a situation of danger, and while it’s perfectly valid for women to have some self-defense tactics under the wing, “passive resistance” achieves the opposite effect.
A “top 10 tips on how to stay safe and aware of your surroundings” or “top 10 reasons to not rape (for men)” would do a lot more justice and help make progress toward keeping females out of danger and subsequent emotional trauma.
Katie Chen is a freshman studying Business Administration.