Women's groups warn against victim-blaming by criticizing girls' outfits
Comments made by UK lawmaker Richard Graham have sparked the outrage of women's groups. The politician argued that the manner in which young girls dress is directly linked to an increase in Britain's rape numbers.“Don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight. This is bad.
“I promise it is better to look after yourself properly. . . don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home because somebody will take advantage of you – either rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you,” he told audiences during his speech for the newest Marks & Spencer campaign, in Gloucester.
He advises women not to wear short skirts and high heels as they return home from clubs, during the night or early morning.
“If you are a young woman on her own trying to walk back home through a park early in the morning in a tight, short skirt and high shoes, and there’s a predator. . . if you are blind drunk wearing those clothes how able are you to get away?
“Although we have a pretty heavy police presence, life doesn’t give you full protection from a predator all the time. You have got to help look after yourself as well,” Graham says.
He explains that his intention is to send out the message that more comfortable clothing would aid them in getting away during a crisis situation, Daily Mail details.
Reps for the Gloucestershire Rape Crisis Centre claim that Graham's speech is centered around the victims' outfits, instead of considering the assailant's inclination towards violent behavior.
The Women’s Resource Center dubs it victim-blaming, and warns against giving the attackers a sense of entitlement by criticizing the victims. Women's groups agree that public comments such as this one set modern society back about a century.