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Community & Business

20 March, 2021

OPINION - The worst 4 letter word.

OPINION - Currently there is a four-letter word that seems to be permeating across the news, some say the word with trepidation, some people scream it and some just won’t say it all.

By Phil Brandel

Grace Tame Advocate for survivors of sexual assault

OPINION - The worst 4 letter word.

Currently there is a four-letter word that seems to be permeating across the news, some say the word with trepidation, some people scream it and some just won’t say it all.

The word is so shocking that those who are affected by it, never fully recover.

The word is rape and thanks to a few brave women who worked in Parliament house in Canberra the word is now on everybody lips.

The problem with the current narrative about rape is that it’s a very one-sided conversation.

ADF chief General Angus Campbell recently said to first-year cadets joining the ADF,

“They should avoid alcohol and going out alone while being attractive, so as not to become a target for sexual predators.”

He highlighted the “four As” to watch out for: alcohol, out after midnight, alone and attractive.

Campbell’s comments placed the onus of responsibility to prevent sexual assault on to women instead of potential perpetrators.

Australian of the Year and victim advocate, Grace Tame called the comments “really unhelpful”.

“That feeds the idea that this is something that a victim has to foresee and stop themselves, as if they’re to blame,” Tame said.

In a statement, Campbell said his “intent was to raise awareness and challenge the group to do what they can to mitigate risk”.

So according to the General, it’s women who need to mitigate the risk. So ladies, please don’t leave the house, always make sure you’re being chaperoned by a male family member and try not to be too attractive.

Ex KAP senate candidate and ex-family first member Bernard Gaynor doubled down and recently tweeted.  “If you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk and fall asleep with some bloke in your office.”

Even the Prime Minister needing to seek advice from his wife Jenny on how to address the situation regarding the Brittany Higgins rape case.

So far, all the advice has come from white middle-aged men.

That was until Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds had to apologise to Brittany Higgins after reports surfaced of Ms Reynolds calling Ms Higgins a ‘lying cow’.

All these comments and conversations seem to be very one-directional. Even Christian Porter played the victim card.

Why is it that nobody has said: “Just don’t rape”?

We are concentrating on the victims and not the perpetrators.

We have a major societal problem if rape is occurring everywhere from small regional towns to the halls of Parliament House.

Change usually takes a generation, look at seatbelts, drink driving and passive smoking.

At the moment we are saying if you don’t want to be hit by a drunk driver, then don’t leave the house in your car. Whereas the education for years has been “don’t drink and drive”

We need to put men under the spotlight and keep reminding them that sexual harassment and rape is not on and we need to remove the victims from the spotlight. If we don’t reverse this paradigm then change will never come.

Got an opinion? Share it with us editorial@theexpressnewspaper.com.au 

 

 


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