Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rape Prevention For Women That Doesn't Let Men Off The Hook

I've been thinking about how so much of the rape prevention advice given to girls and women also feeds into the rationalizations of rapists. Then there's the issue of how can girls and women communicate their lack of consent so poorly trained investigators can't dismiss a completed rape as a "he said, she said" situation.

To get ideas, I searched for rape prevention videos. The first one I watched had a self-protection expert demonstrate a container of mace which wouldn't go off accidentally. That makes sense for attempted stranger rape or attempted stranger kidnapping, but most sexual assaults aren't committed by strangers.

Shooting mace at an acquaintance might be seen as an act of violence so that type of spray was out. I wondered if there were a product which could be used like mace to make lack of consent perfectly clear for all those boys and men who won't acknowledge and/or respect the girl's or woman's limits and for all those who keep repeating the mantra of denial: "women lie about rape."

I decided to go looking to see if there was a nontoxic spray which would also stain a would-be rapist's skin since photo line ups are considered suspect by many.

I did a Google search and found that these types of products are available.

One such product is DyeWITNESS™ which uses a non-toxic green foam. If sprayed in the face the foam blocks the target's vision for about a minute. The stain fades from the skin after 8 days and permanently stains clothing.

For those in the UK there is Xmarker Personal Attack Defence Spray which leaves a blue stain.

Fathers who want their daughters to be able to escape if a boyfriend becomes determined to not let her leave until she surrenders can give this product instead of a lecture on not "letting" the boyfriend go too far.

If boys and men start getting sprayed when they refuse to take no for an answer or who refuse to leave when told to do so and then have to walk around for days with a stained face, maybe their attitudes about coercion will change even if a jury is conned into accepting that there was reasonable doubt or if a DA won't press charges because of lack of evidence. If women encounter a rape or gang rape in progress, and sprayed the attackers that would make the but "I have an alibi" much harder to pull off.

With the number of rapes committed each year, imagine what it would look like if each rapist and each wannabe rapist -- even the ones who insist they did nothing wrong -- were stained for a week each time they crossed the line from wanted to unwanted sexual contact.

Denial of the problem would be a lot harder.

Turning this device on the rape victim would stain them, but that stain would make it much harder for an assailant to con anyone by saying, "It was consensual."

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:01 AM   0 comments links to this post


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