'walk like a victim, you will be a victim'

(55 Posts)
sunlightonthegrass Mon 29-Apr-13 21:43:34

I can't work out what I feel about this.

I took someone to task for saying this recently (in a nice way - I just pointed out that it might not make people who had been victims feel great to feel it was their 'fault' in some way - she, to give her her due, was very gracious about it.)

However, I did sort of know what she was getting at but I still objected to it.

Interested to hear other thoughts?

bubbles1231 Mon 29-Apr-13 23:01:01

I get you Pacific

NiceTabard Mon 29-Apr-13 23:03:17

Thing is that the vast majority of people are attacked due to bad luck. Nothing more, nothing less. And with rape - unlike with the football shirts - most attacks are by people known to the victim. No amount of "risk minimisation" will help that.

I would imagine that both women and men who wear the "wrong" football shirt to a pub for the other supporters run a risk of violence.
Problem with sex attackers is they don't all go to the same pub and wear shirts to identify who they are.

the analogy just doesn't hold i think.

Unless you imagine that "being female" is the equivalent of wearing the "wrong" football shirt and the supporters of the opposite team could be anywhere but there's no way of telling who they are... Maybe that works.

dogsandcats Mon 29-Apr-13 23:07:38

I could be wrong, but I would have thought that men are far and away, the group most likely to be victims of crime outside the home.
Again, I could be wrong, but I think the advice to men is not to look other men in the eye?

I agree, it's mainly luck - good or bad.
I don't give a monkey's about football strips - I just ment to illustrate that men and women to face different types of risks on the whole, although some men get raped and some women get attacked for wearing the 'wrong' colours. And that even advice given to men is less likely to be seen as victim blaming.

And yes, sadly, I think 'being female' is a risk sad.

NiceTabard Mon 29-Apr-13 23:18:50

Don't get me wrong I am all for teaching people (from when they are young children) about what is OK and what isn't and if possible confidence through things like martial arts (for some reason they appeal to me grin) and using your instincts and not being embarrassed / cowed into staying in situations you actually want to get out of (that one is esp important for girls) and so on.

But just this stuff about limiting freedom and always being on the alert and never being able to relax and always considering yourself prey is just such a miserable way to live, and it is a message which is aimed at women and not men, overwhelmingly in the media and random emails and police warnings and all sorts of things and it's that which pisses me off.

Also none of the "advice" whether good or bad is going to help if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time out of simple bad luck. And it is always bad luck when shit happens and not the fault of your skirt or your hair or your age or something.

I see it the other way around: I don't see myself as prey, I am not anxious and yes, I have often been lucky (with the benefit of hindsight).
Public warnings have been awful though, I agree. I like the 'Don't rape' one though grin. It would work well with 'Don't stab' or any other violent crime too.

NiceTabard Mon 29-Apr-13 23:44:00

I don't see myself as prey either which is why it makes me so angry when I see and hear and read all these things which are simply telling me that is what I am.

And I'm not having it. I never did.

I have been averagely lucky I think.

Just today a friend told me she was out with some work people she didn't know that well and one of the blokes was "randomly sexually assaulting women in the bar". So those women were unlucky. And that man needed to be pulled up on it, but so few people are prepared to do that which is part of the whole problem. This sort of behaviour should be deemed utterly unacceptable by society and that would stamp out a lot of the more casual assaults.

NiceTabard Mon 29-Apr-13 23:45:00

Those top ten tips are good.

I know some people get very aerated about them. And they accuse feminists of not having a sense of humour hmm

NiceTabard Mon 29-Apr-13 23:46:12

My favourite top tips were in the same email

Studies have shown that men who rape never choose women with short hair

Carry an umbrella at all times to defend yourself

Cheers for that! grin

BasilBabyEater Tue 30-Apr-13 21:07:01

Thing is, it implies that anyone over about 70, or disabled, or a child, or is quite short and small, or is un-armed, should never go out by themselves.

Because by definition, those people look more like victims to someone inclined to victimise other people.

You only have to think about it for about 20 seconds, to realise how unrealistic such ideas are.

dogsandcats Tue 30-Apr-13 22:01:31

But you might take extra precautions, if that is the right turn of phrase?

NiceTabard Tue 30-Apr-13 22:44:17

What sort of extra precautions?

dogsandcats Tue 30-Apr-13 22:48:47

Extra people with you if you can.
Up to the individual concerned isnt it?

NiceTabard Tue 30-Apr-13 22:52:03

Not quite sure what to make of that idea.

Surely it is up to society and police to look out for vulnerable people to a certain extent? Thinking about young people (children), elderly people, people with more profound disabilities, people with mental health issues, and the whole gamut of vulnerable people. The idea that it is "up to the individual concerned" to "walk the walk" so as to reduce their risk of abuse just sounds wrong to me.

NiceTabard Tue 30-Apr-13 22:58:01

It's also impractical.

Most people do not have the option of having other people around them when they do stuff.

eg most people in winter walk around by themselves after dark. That's inescapable. The idea that they should somehow be taking "extra precautions" is only going to be damaging to the minority of people who are unlucky enough to have something bad happen on their way home from work or the shops or wherever.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 30-Apr-13 23:03:33

Not to mention that if you ask an acquaintance to walk with you, they may turn out to be your attacker.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 01-May-13 01:40:00

It's never the victims fault if they're attacked but certain vulnerabilities will make some people more likely to be attacked. There's no way for elderly/disabled/physically weak people to prevent attack by walking a different way and even Mike Tyson would be endangered by a gang attack, only removing offenders from the streets can make them safe for everybody.

There will never be a safe society where we can all live happily with free abandon until there is severe punishment for violent thugs and the vermin that produce and raise them that way. As long as the fashion is to indulge bad parenting and the consequent criminals rather than holding them to account, civilisation and genuine freedom are impossible. People should be free to walk the streets without being attacked and enjoy their homes without being attacked, whether they can or not depends on geography and demographics.

Longdistance Wed 01-May-13 01:53:51

Wasn't there some study in the US, where they showed prisoners two people walking on along a street. One had their head down, hunched, no eye contact, the other person had their head held up high, good posture, looking aware, and something like 95% of them chose the first subject that was hunched with their head down as the person they would attack/ mug.
But this is a study on people they don't know, that are walking along the street, no friends/ relatives.
Just found that quite interesting.

GoblinGranny Wed 01-May-13 04:20:39

'I have no issue with saying that walking confidently, with purpose, without earphones, not on your phone, makes you a less attractive target for an opportunist violent criminal (of any type, mugging, sexual, etc). '

I have a boy and a girl, I taught both of them that as I believe it to be true. However, if they are attacked, no blame or responsibility attaches to them, they were victimised because of a predator who targeted them. The fault lies entirely with the attacker.

GoblinGranny Wed 01-May-13 04:25:53

'Surely it is up to society and police to look out for vulnerable people to a certain extent?'

When that becomes an expectation for everyone, that we all look out and care for everyone we come into contact with, then we will have Utopia.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Wed 01-May-13 09:58:56

Totally agree Goblin. And yes, I inrended it to mean for both sexes. smile

NiceTabard Wed 01-May-13 09:59:19

At the moment, sadly, it isn't even happening for many vulnerable people.

wol1968 Wed 01-May-13 13:43:45

Maybe we should lock up all the men after dark. wink

DuelingFanjo Wed 01-May-13 20:16:35

Good idea, they obviously can't be trusted.

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