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August 6, 2013

Refreshing advice for Parents talking to children about Rape Prevention.

Wise advice for Parents in talking to children about Rape Prevention.

On discussing “rape prevention” with a future daughter, via Reddit.

I was riding my bike home from work one day and some girl on the side of the road tried to tackle me as I passed her.

I told my parents the next day that I was going to take a different route home, and my mom told me not to. She said she would park nearby when I was coming home for a few nights, but that I needed to be comfortable in my own neighborhood. It was a freak thing. I live in a quiet town. I can’t add half a mile uphill onto my commute just because someone could potentially hurt me.

What it comes down to is the fact that the things that everyone tells girls when they’re trying to educate about rape prevention only really potentially prevent being jumped by a stranger. Those stranger rapists commit a dramatic minority of rapes. Most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, in either their house or the rapist’s house. So even if that advice prevented rape (it doesn’t), it would only prevent a minority of rape.

If you want to teach your daughter about preventing the majority of rape, teach her warning signs. Teach her to trust her instincts and not to be afraid to tell somebody to fuck off. Teach her that she doesn’t owe anybody affection, and that if somebody is pressuring her, she needs to get them out of her life. Let her know that you trust her and that she can count on you to be there if and when she needs you. Teach her that people who don’t respect her bodily autonomy don’t deserve her attention. Let her know that any sexual relationship that doesn’t benefit her isn’t worth her time.

To teach women rape prevention, you have to focus less on avoiding provoking it and more on developing self-respect and healthy relationships. Focus less on taking the long way home and more on making her comfortable in her neighborhood.

Edited for clarity.

Edit 2: Holy crap people. It’s awesome to see so much discussion about this and even better to see that it’s helping people.

To see the discussion, which is just as worthwhile as the above, click over to Reddit. Please share.

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