Going Viral: Rape Prevention Tips

Going Viral: Rape Prevention Tips

Going Viral: Rape Prevention Tips

A list of ten top tips for preventing rape is going viral, despite being written 4 years ago. This proves the desperate ongoing need for a radical change towards rape culture.

The list first appeared on the 24th of May 2011, in blog named “Washington State Coalition against Domestic Violence”, which was a forum for talking about violence and relationships. The list was made from an old chain e-mail titled “Fifty Ways to Prevent Yourself from Being a Rapist.”

The tips, which are aimed at men rather than women, are being shared all over again after a picture was posted on 9gag and later spread across the internet. Comedian Sarah Silverman posted it on Twitter and it has since been retweeted over 3,500 times.

The list goes as follows;

  1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

  2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

  3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.

  4. If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.

  5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.

  6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.

  7. Remember, people go to the laundry room to do their laundry. Do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

  8. Use the Buddy System! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you at all times.

  9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you.

  10. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

In the original post a friend of the author explains that they don’t know whether to laugh or be horrified by the tips adding : “If you experienced rape … you don’t need rape prevention tips. It is the rapist and the culture around us that excuses, supports, and looks away that we must change.”

This is a very serious and critical point, that still is ongoing today.

The social media reaction to this list has ranged from absolute hilarity to outrage. Some complain that the list demonises men and should be aimed at both sexes.

I understand that the list gives a very evil view of men, particularly if you miss the irony completely. However, it does make a striking change from women being blamed for being the cause of the rape.

On the 3rd of April 2011, a transitional movement of protest marches called the SlutWalk protested against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a women’s appearance. The movement began after Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Police Officer in Toronto, suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” as a precaution against sexual assault. I would suggest giving the timing of the original blog post that the list was intended to aid this movement. However, it still echoes issues that still lurk in many cultures today.  

Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation. 

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