It is appropriate for celebrities, and especially female celebrities to open up discussions about the treatment that they face at the hands of the paparazzi and the media in general, but it is not appropriate to compare it to the very specific act of physical and psychological violence that rape is. Certainly not whilst victim-blaming is so prevalent, and whilst it is so hard to get a conviction.
Here's the resounding message: 'Don't get raped!'. Why is there no talk telling people not to rape, and teaching them what constitutes rape? Considering that most victims of sexual assault are assaulted by somebody they know, the 'don't walk home alone' message is proving to be falling short in protecting students. We need something more.
New laws followed the inquiry report on stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, sentencing and mandatory police reporting of complaints of sexual attacks but, laws are not enough and as time passes and another woman is raped, the question is whether all the efforts of the report writers to urge a change in mind-set have failed.
In the 60s and 70s students were often required to live on campus under adult supervision- there were 'rules of the house' and they were enforced. Limiting drinking or eliminating fraternities entirely are unlikely to have the desired affect. They are more likely to send these unacceptable activities underground - off campus.
I'm getting pretty tired of explaining to people why rape jokes aren't funny. Instead, I have begun asking the perpetrators of such jokes why they think the jokes are funny. Desperately, I seek humour in punchlines about holding a knife to a woman's throat, about binding her with rope, about "raping that bitch".
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
If I had the urge to publicly accuse this man, I'd have to question myself and my motives. The only one I can think of is if I was stuck in a victim mindset and sought revenge. Thankfully I'm not. Behaving like a victim disenfranchises you, steals your integrity and keeps you stuck. Yes, they were responsible for what happened then but I am responsible for myself now.
As women-only carriages spread through public transport systems in Brazil, Thailand, India and Japan... it looks like the preventative, victim-blaming measure may be heading to the UK. According to transport minister Claire Perry MP, focusing energies on removing the victim from the situation rather than addressing the offender is the way to go when tackling sexual assault.
One of the few positive things to come out of the DLT case is that it should now be widely understood that to grab or seize someone in any physical way under the guise of humour or playfulness is completely unacceptable. And it should be understood that this behaviour is the first rung on the ladder of sexual assault.
In a practical sense, no single remedy can address this endemic issue. Instead a range of solutions, constituting a holistic approach, are required. Firstly, a truly independent inquiry should be commissioned - one which is not led by any of the institutions implicated in the case, and further not implemented by a high profile man or men.