Page 4: Opinion: Quit blaming victims of sexual assault

Mya Studyvin

Her skirt wasn’t too short.

He wasn’t too drunk.

They weren’t playing hard to get.

They didn’t say yes.

A common response to sexual assault allegations is to make excuses for the perpetrator and blame the victim.

The sexual assault narrative becomes a way to divert the blame from the person at fault, allowing them to deny accountability.

But ya know what? There is no excuse for rape.

Rather than condemning the choices the victim made, perhaps we should be asking why?

Why does the length of her skirt determine her worth?

Why is it OK to take advantage of his intoxication and violate him?

Why, if they’ve already expressed their disinterest, is it OK to keep pursuing them?

The answer is simple: it’s not.

We’re conditioned to think that dressing provocatively or partying will put us into the position of being taken advantage of, and I think that’s utter crap.

With the retraction of moral or religious high ground, there is not a single justifiable reasoning against those things in the first place – let alone one that justifies sexual assault.

Creating a more supportive and inclusive environment for sexual assault survivors begins with acknowledging ingrained victim-blaming thoughts and phrases. And then erasing them from our vocabulary.

I urge you to educate yourself, do better and, for God’s sakes, stop blaming the victim.