The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Viral advice offers skewed facts, according to campus police

Last week, a reemerging post created back in 2000 titled “Through a Rapist’s Eyes” hit the social media world again, giving women advice on what rapists look for when choosing a potential victim.
The post, whose author is unknown, lists 10 so-called “facts” that a panel of rapists reportedly said they looked for in choosing a victim. Some characteristics included, “They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly…The time of day men are most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.”
Many reposts of the original document contain hundreds of comments writing that the article is extremely helpful and informative; others criticize stating it gives the impression that women must alter their dress or behavior in order to avoid becoming a victim.
California State University, Stanislaus Police Officer Cheri Silveira offered feedback on the accuracy of the advice in the post.
“When I read the article, the word ‘rape’ didn’t come to mind,” Silveira said. “These are things to do to try to avoid being abducted, assaulted, robbed, kidnapped, etc. Every point is valid and has its place. To say it’s only about rape makes the advice seem less valid.”
Officer Silveira agreed with the post’s mention that criminals look for easy targets, and that the number one thing she sees on campus that puts women in a potentially dangerous situation is when they walk with their heads down texting.
“I’ve seen both males and females almost hit by cars because they walked into the street without looking. What does this say to a would-be attacker,” Silveira said. “If there is no awareness of your surroundings, you are unable to recognize any dangerous situations and therefore unable to avoid them. You become the rat walking right into the trap.”
Above all, Silveira says it is important to listen to one’s intuition and to take proactive measures to limit the risk of becoming a target.
“Know in advance what you want and are able to do in certain situations. Are you able to run, fight, use a weapon [or] yell?”
According to the 2010-2011 Crime Statistics Report on the campus website (csustan.edu), four counts of rape and three counts of sexual battery were reported to the university police that occurred both on campus and within residential facilities. A reported 16 forcible rapes occurred in Turlock in 2011, according to the Turlock Police Department Annual Report.
Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes will become available once scheduled and a notice will be put out to the campus community through emails and flyers.
Silveira also mentioned students should take advantage of the Peer Escort Program and get a ride to their vehicle Monday through Thursday evenings from 6 to 11 p.m. To call, use any of the emergency blue light phones on campus or call 209-668-1200. If a peer escort is not available, a police officer can also provide an escort.
“We don’t want our female students to feel like they are burdening us. If they don’t feel safe, this is why we are here.”

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Viral advice offers skewed facts, according to campus police