Police Officer Advises Women to Avoid Sexual Assault by Not Dressing Like a Slut!

Lacye - posted on 02/26/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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As Care2 follows the aftermath of CBS's Lara Logan's sexual assault and beating in Egypt, the normalcy of victim blaming surrounding sexual assaults against women became even more clear to me as I came across yet another example.

As Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Canada, a Toronto Police Service officer suggested women could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a "slut."

"I've been told I'm not supposed to say this," said the officer, "however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

The remark was made at a campus safety information session where officers handed out safety tips to community members. Some safety tip.

Osgoode assistant dean of the Juris Doctor Program said he was "shocked and appalled" about the comments and contacted the police for a written apology.

The police officer in question, Const. Michael Sanguinetti, has since apologized saying he is "embarrassed" by what he said, adding that assaulted women are "not victims by choice."

"I made a comment which was poorly thought out and did not reflect the commitment of the Toronto Police Service to the victims of sexual assaults," said Sanguinetti in an email apology sent to the school. "Violent crimes such as sexual assaults can have a traumatizing effect on their victims...My comment was hurtful in this respect."

Not Victims By Choice

Linking a woman's clothing to sexual assault is just one of the many ways women are blamed for sexual assaults that are never their choice.

When a police officer offers "not dressing like a slut" as advice to keep women safe, he is directly placing the blame on her while taking the responsibility away from the perpetrator - the person who committed the crime.

These kinds of remarks also make it incredibly difficult for women to come forward after they've been attacked. Women shouldn't be second guessing their choice of wardrobe after being raped or sexually assaulted. They should be seeking help and justice - something they won't do if they feel like what happened was their fault.

http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-right...

Really? I know the man apologized for what he said and everything but if he didn't really believe that then he wouldn't have said it. So what do you ladies think? Is it the woman's fault that she is raped because she dresses a little too sexy?

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Amber - posted on 02/28/2011

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Being attractive can incite sexual feelings in others regardless of what you're wearing.

It shouldn't matter if a woman is showing lots of skin, covered up completely, or somewhere in between. A woman should be able to walk around naked and not have anybody touch her.

I guess I just don't understand how looking hot without showing skin would make you less vulnerable to attack. If a rapist has the opportunity, he's going to take it if you caught his eye in any way.

The bottom line is that it's her body. It doesn't matter what message is being sent by clothes. The only message that is important is "No." If a person decides to not listen to that message, it is 100% their fault. It doesn't matter what they thought the message was.

Kate CP - posted on 02/26/2011

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Rape is not about sex, it's about anger and power. So to suggest that dressing overly sexy is what causes rape is not only not true but really stupid.

[deleted account]

35% seems far to high, a high school class project will have far to many factors that have not been considered and so cannot be taken too seriously. From what I know about rape most rape victims are wearing normal clothes such as jeans and a t-shirt or their pyjamas rather than anything provocative or revealing.

Here are some sites I found showing the myths on rape and why it happens:

http://www.usu.edu/saavi/pdf/myths_facts...

http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/vawp/v...

Nikki - posted on 03/02/2011

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The problem is Kathy that this man is coming from a chauvinistic and unprofessional place. What's to understand? does he understand how he possibly made many rape victims feel after hearing this? That it's their fault, they did something wrong. Where the hell does he get off? You would think that police officers are required to undertake some form of training to understand the mind frame behind these criminals. Maybe if this idiot was educated he could work out that rape is about control and violence not short skirts and low cut tops.

Kate CP - posted on 02/27/2011

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Kathy: A person's clothing has NOTHING to do with the act of rape. Rape is NOT about sex or or sexually appealing women or provocative clothing: it's about control and domination; rage and violence. A rapist gets off on the control and violence in the act of rape. Whether or not a woman is dressed sexy or acting seductively has nothing to do with it.

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18 Comments

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LadyJane - posted on 03/03/2011

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The sad truth of it is, that almost 35% of rapists do pick their victims based on what they wear. Doesn't excuse the violence, but in this day and age, women do need to be more careful if they have to be walking by themselves at night. Until rape becomes non-existant, women pretty much have to look out for themselves and make sure they are doing all they can to not to be a victim. No one is really totally safe anymore.



The 35% is based on a 1983 High School class project where we had to send surveys to at least 3 jails/prisons targeting only those convicted of rape.

Laura - posted on 03/02/2011

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Kate is absolutely correct: Rape and sexual assults are all about POWER and has nothing to do with sex. The sexual act is merely the tool to achieve that power, control and domination over another person (yes, men get raped, too!). The "sexy dress" is just an excuse used to blame the victim (usually a woman) and remove blame from the predator (usually a man).

The interesting thing about all of this is that ALCOHOL plays a bigger role in potential rape situations than does the way a woman dresses, especially on college campuses. Especially when you combine that with the research done that shows that young men, if they knew they could get away with rape without anyone knowing, WOULD force a woman to have sex. So if this officer really wanted to impart some advice to young women he would have been better off telling them to watch their alcohol consumption and avoid being alone with a frat boy! There are some significant studies available that show this, notably those conducted by a long-time researcher named Kirkpatrick.

Unfortunately as women, we do need to be mindful of our own behavior for our own security. Sad, but true. It sucks to always have to be the ones taking responsibility for our actions, but when personal safety is on the line I'll do it! While there is great power for women in expressing our sexuality and beauty, some men may see that as a challenge and as something to "conquer". One never know what might turn that nice man your dancing with into a sexual predator. Remember, it's about power and control with him, not really pleasurable sex! The movie "Thelma and Louise" points this out very well (and not all of us carry pistols)! This is not meant to excuse predatory sexual behavior in men, I am merely trying to point out the psychology behind that behavior. Women need to know this so that they can be informed and make appropriate choices for themselves regarding their own safety. "No" should mean "no" coming from a woman, but the reality is that many men still regard that as a "yes" and a challenge; the woman, to them, is just being passive-aggressive and actually wants sex. So while it is never a rape victim's fault, the laws and perceptions of society still haven't caught up to the idea that rape is about power and control and NOT about sex. With that in mind, women need to take responsibility for their own safety, however that needs to be, unfortunately...

I learned this from a 400 level Psych class in college and I chose to change my behavior at parties after that. That, and women should take self-defense/martial arts classes!

[deleted account]

I feel that the best way to combat sexism of this sort is NOT to go getting aggro and abusing people, but to try and understand where they're coming from. Then you might have a basis for reasoned discussion and dealing with the misinformation.

Cyndel - posted on 03/01/2011

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I think it has more to do with physically where a woman is then what she is wearing. There are just certain places to avoid especially at night, and until you really know a guy make sure all dates are in public places the whole time, date rape and aquaintance rape are the most common rapes.

A girl in the wrong place at the wrong time is in no way at fault, but in this perverted and sin filled world a girl needs to take precautions because there are some horrible men out there. Sad...yes, but true.

Victoria - posted on 02/28/2011

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Rape has nothing to do with how a woman is dressed. The rapist is more likely to choose some one that looks like easy prey and won't fight back. But that's not always the case. It's not the woman's fault for the evil act.

However, I do think that dressing in a provocative manner does incite sexual feelings in others. That's why so many losers hit on women that are "sexed-up". I think that as women we should think about what kind of message we are sending with what we are wearing.
Isn't that the whole point of the "What Not to Wear" show? You can be sexy and not slutty. You can be a hot mom (or woman in general) and don't need to show off a lot of skin.
Just a thought.

Michelle - posted on 02/27/2011

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ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! It shouldn't matter how a woman dresses, if she says NO...it's NO. I think some women take things too far, and then say NO...but even then, if she says NO...then it's NO!!!

Kate CP - posted on 02/27/2011

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I did read it Kathy...don't know how I missed the second line. :/

Anyway...even if that's where he's coming from I still think it's a stupid position for him to have...it doesn't make any sense.

[deleted account]

I know that, Kate: didn't you read my post?

All I said was, perhaps this is where this guy is coming from!

Amber - posted on 02/27/2011

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Why should women have to be "careful" so that they don't get raped? It's a shame that women are dictated what they should and shouldn't wear because some men cannot seem to control their own impulses or desire for power.



If a man were attacked and weren't wearing a shirt, would it be his fault? No, it would be the fault of the person who attacked him!

[deleted account]

It's definitely not the woman's fault if she gets raped! Horrible thing to say! As others have said, it's a power thing, not a sexual thing!

However, I think I get where this guy is coming from - perhaps he was just suggesting (in a fairly clumsy way) that a little common sense wouldn't go astray - after all, you wouldn't walk down a dark alley at night with your purse on open display, would you? Naturally, even if you did, and got your purse stolen, it's not your fault but you could have been a bit more careful. Not a good analogy, I know, and I'm not trying to excuse the guy, but perhaps that's what he was getting at?

[deleted account]

This isn't the first time I've heard this suggested. Some people don't care if you're wearing a paper bag. The way you are dressed does not give anyone the right to violate you. You can't even touch strippers (so I've heard lol) who wear nothing so it shouldn't matter what a woman on the street is wearing.

Nikki - posted on 02/26/2011

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What a prick, this seriously pisses me off!



It is by no means a woman's fault because she dresses provocatively. Every time I hear a story like this it infuriates me. I remember having to study a few cases about rape while I was at uni, this nut job judge let two rapists off because the women were wearing short skirts.



It is the MEN that rape with the problem, their disgusting and immoral needs and lack of respect for another person.



I really couldn't care less if the woman is dancing around naked shaking her butt in the air, if she says no for whatever reason, it god dam means NO!

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