In rape culture, it is the duty of the victim to repress, avoid and escape her potential rapist. Women have to control where they go, what they wear, how they behave and how they respond to sexual aggression. Deviation from patriarchal norms is not an option. We don’t teach rapist not to rape. The concepts of respect, honor and support of women have no place in rape culture, so since the beginning of recorded history, women have been forced to adapt.
It is in this spirit of survival that RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) has developed a set of tips to help women and other potential victims of sexual violence escape a dangerous situation before it occurs. When and if you find yourself faced with a potential rapist, the post suggests that you:
- Trust your instincts
- Avoid blaming yourself for the problem
- Lie if it helps you escape
- Plan and use an escape route
Many of these suggestions mirror the more general advice I gave in a post called Misogyny, Racism and the Moscow Rules, and provide a useful starting point for evading hostile strangers. It doesn’t work as well against sexual predators who are in your social circle, but until we teach men not to rape, ladies need any edge they can to adapt to a hostile environment.