YOUNG VOICES

Teen Magazine Agony Aunt Slammed After Telling Rape Victim She 'Acted Like A Girl Who Has Been Around'

Columnist Kelly Chopard also told the girl she should 'be grateful he wore a condom'.

15/11/2016 14:29

An agony aunt in a teenage magazine has been widely criticised after appearing to blame a teenage rape victim for her assault and telling her to “be grateful he wore a condom”. 

The girl had written to Dear Kelly, an advice column in Singapore’s biggest youth magazine “Teenage”, for guidance after she stayed at a boy’s house without her parents’ permission.  

Sara Janelle
Teenage is Singapores biggest youth magazine

“I drank wine for the first time as music and soft lights surrounded us. It was so romantic. Then he suggested we dance. I said okay,” the young woman wrote. 

“And then there was cuddling and kissing and he started undressing me. I had too much to drink and did not protest. 

Sara Janelle
A young girl wrote to an agony aunt after being raped 

“I don’t remember anything after this and the next morning I found myself naked in bed with him and he said, ‘Wow! I didn’t know you were a virgin, honey!’” 

Rather than supporting the teenager, agony aunt Kelly Chopard told her that she had “acted like a girl who has been around”.  

Sara Janelle
Agony aunt Kelly Chopard has been accused of victim blaming for her response

Kelly wrote: “Unfortunately, you gave every indication you were a willing player in his unfolding seduction plan.

“You accepted wine and obviously became drunk. Then there was the dancing, kissing, etc. culminating in sex.

“I don’t blame him for thinking you were not a virgin.”

The agony aunt then went on to tell the girl she could not “turn back the clock”, but that she “can be grateful he wore a condom”. 

Sara Janelle
Kelly appears to blame the victim for her assault as she had lied to her parents about where she was staying 

“However, you are naive and inexperienced and somehow didn’t seem to realise what could happen to you being alone with a guy for two nights,” Kelly continued. “Most people won’t believe you are so innocent.

“After this horrendous experience, I expect you will not do anything foolish again.” 

Chopard has been slammed since images of the advice column were posted on social media.

One Facebook user called the agony aunt “ridiculous”, while another said by advising the teenager to stay close to home, Kelly was “instilling fear in a rape victim”. 

Chopard has since released a statement, apologising if her response “came across as harsh and ‘blaming the victim’. 

“Please believe me when I say I am profoundly sorry for teenagers who are vulnerable and often “naïve” as I stressed, more than once, in my response in this case,” she wrote. 

“My response takes into consideration our many readers who seek direction so they will not find themselves in a similar situation.” 

The magazine has also apologised for the column, saying they did not mean to “lead to the impression that rape is acceptable”.  

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