- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - University of Wisconsin police have revised a crime prevention tip sheet after some readers said it contained language that blamed victims for crimes such as sexual assault.

The tips were published earlier this week in an online monthly newsletter and sent out via email, the Wisconsin State Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1v6aBuM ). The newsletter was originally titled “Shedding the Victim Persona: Staying Safe on Campus.”

It provided several safety tips, such as walking with friends and drinking responsibly.

The post, written by Officer William Brown, also said: “A victim looks like a victim! If you move from one destination to another, and the only thing you recall about the trip is the last text message you received, then there’s a problem.” He continued: “If you present yourself as easy prey, then expect to attract some wolves. If you make yourself a hard target, one who is aware of their surroundings, you take away two elements of a crime: desirability and opportunity.”

Readers criticized the department on blogs and social media, saying some of the language blamed women for sexual assaults.

Jia Tolentino, a writer for Gawker Media website Jezebel, wrote: “Oh, dear police department, we know, we know. We know we look like victims. We know we present as easy … prey.”

The department said the newsletter was meant to provide safety information about crimes in general, not specifically sexual assault. The department also has revised the post, which is now titled: “Tools You Can Use: Staying Safe on Campus.”

“We have a responsibility as a police department to put out general safety information,” university police spokesman Marc Lovicott said. “It’s not a failsafe, it’s not a guarantee, but we like to arm our community with as much information as we can.”

Lovicott said the phrase, “a victim looks like a victim,” wasn’t referring to sexual assault victims but people who look at their cellphones and are less aware of their surroundings.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide