I wish I could say, “only in Spain,” but the fact is that governments throughout the world tend to take this outlook on ‘prevention’ of violence against women. Putting responsibility on the women with these “helpful” tips no doubt does more to scare them than deter any possible rape attempts. These instructions were updated after an event in Malaga, where a young woman was sexually assaulted by several men after walking home from work one evening.
Among them include:
- avoid bus stops at night
- attain a whistle
- when parking, stay in your car until you know it’s safe to come out
- when entering your car, make sure there is no one inside
- don’t put your name on your mailbox
- close your curtains to avoid prying eyes
- don’t get into elevators if a stranger is in them
In other words, be afraid, be very afraid … and don’t live your life.
Living in a city like Barcelona means of course it’s unwise to walk a long distance home, alone and possibly a little drunk at 4am in a deserted alleyway in a rough neighborhood – and that goes for both men AND women.
This laundry list is ridiculous because it seems we are blaming the victim for not following the rules: “well it’s not surprising that she was violated, she carried no whistle after all.”
Here’s an idea – why doesn’t the government do more to prevent rape by educating more young men and boys about consent and the consequences of ignoring it, offering more resources for victims so that they feel safe reporting the crime while there is time to make a case, and higher penalties for perpetrators?
So take note, Spanish government, and everyone else out there – here are some improved rape prevention tips: