Female soldier calls out victim-blaming Air Force flier with tips for how to “avoid becoming a victim” of sexual assault

Here’s a poster of helpful advice on “how to avoid being a victim” created by the sexual assault coordinator at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force base. Via Business Insider:

Ohio Air Force victim-blaming sexual assault post

I particularly love that this list of tips–all eight of which are directed at the potential victim–is under the title “Preventing Sexual Assault is Everyone’s Duty!” Maybe the guidelines for would-be perpetrators were just accidentally printed on the opposite of the flier? 

When Jennifer Stephens, a battalion commander in the state’s National Guard, saw the flier in the women’s bathroom at the base, she took action. She slapped a note with actual info survivors of sexual assault should know (what a novel idea) over the flier and penned a letter to the sexual assault response office. “Please take a moment to think about how you would feel if you had been assaulted,” she wrote, “and you went to a [Sexual Assault Coordinator] or Victims Advocate and one of the first questions they sled you was what you were wearing or if you were alone of if you were drunk.”

Word. And kudos to Stevens for speaking out.

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St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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