Friday, December 9, 2011

i know who to blame

People should not ask what drew young men to gang-rape a child, and they should not ask what someone was drinking or wearing when she was assaulted. Victims should not be told to “be more careful” after being attacked. I was not assaulted because of what I had been wearing or drinking. The assumption that I should have known better and wasn’t being careful is insulting. The circumstances surrounding my assault shouldn’t matter. What matters is that I was assaulted.

The culture of victim blaming has to stop. But it won’t until members of law enforcement — and society at large — change their attitudes.

Carey Purcell is a New York–based writer and editor. She runs, where she publishes reviews of Broadway shows. Her freelance writing can be read at

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