Letter to the Editor: The attackers are to blame for rape, not the victims

Last week, Justin Rebello wrote a commentary about the ongoing rape investigation at Duke University (“Rape at Duke shouldn’t be a race issue,” April 12). Without getting into that particular investigation, I would like to address a statement of Rebello’s regarding rape.

He states, “as long as we’re turning this [rape] into a social issue, the message should be sent to society – to women in particular – to exercise common sense where rape can be avoided.” As a woman, I’m quite aware of the possibility of rape and I do not need to be told, or reminded, by Rebello to exercise my common sense. Do not think that I’m not constantly looking over my shoulders if walking home alone at night in fear that I could become a victim of rape.

The message should rather be sent to society – men in particular – that rape is never justified and that women are never asking for it, even if they are dressed in short skirts, even if they are walking alone at night, or even if they are working as strippers. Rape is an act of violence that is used as a tool to exert power, control and dominance over another.

No person should have to avoid rape; the responsibility should be placed on the attacker to not commit the act. Rape is never justifiable and this message is the one that must be sent to, and reinforced in, our society.

– Tara M. Doran is a middler sociology major and the treasurer of the Northeastern University Feminist Student Organization.

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