Has anyone seen this list? It’s a rape prevention list for rapists. I’m sure you have seen it. It’s been circulating for a while now (or maybe there are many versions, but the idea is the same), appearing on many sites, including the one in the link. I believe the point of the list is to show us that giving women tips on how to avoid dangerous people is judgemental and victim-blaming:
“My co-worker recently created this list, inspired by sites like this*. As I was reading, I couldn’t decide if I should laugh or be horrified by the reality that violence prevention tips are always aimed at what the targeted person should do (judgment strongly implied) to protect themselves.”
While I’m not keen on victim-blaming, or adding insult to the injury, I am interested in violence prevention, especially violence against myself. That means the “whose fault it was” game isn’t interesting to me. It does look like a form of damage control , and this is why “rape prevention tips for rapists” don’t inspire a lot of hope in me.
But some people do think that telling men not to rape actually worked in reducing rape. David Futrelle thinks so :
“Rape has declined significantly over the past three decades, and I think it’s fairly obvious that increased awareness and understanding of rape, largely the result of feminist anti-rape campaigns, has contributed significantly to this decline.”
Curious if he’s right, I looked at the crime statistics in the USA in general. I looked here and here. What the numbers tell me is that ALL violent crime (homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery) started rising somewhere in the early to mid-60s, peaked in early 90s (except murder, that had a peak in 1980), and started declining in mid-90s. From its peak until 2010, murder decreased by 53%, rape by 36%, robbery by 56% and aggravated assault by 43%. I don’t know if any groups ever conducted any campaigns teaching people not to rob, kill or assault, but I haven’t heard of them.
So what does it all mean? I think it means this. Feminist anti-rape campaigns might have reduced rape. They might not have reduced rape. They might even have prevented rape rates from sinking even lower than they have. In fact I’m almost counting on the latter, as telling someone they should have the right and be able to walk naked at night and not be raped inspires them to prioritize being right over not being raped.