On Tuesday, #LiberalTips2AvoidRape began trending on Twitter. Here's the backstory:
On Monday, Colorado's House voted to pass HB 1226, which would prevent anyone—including people with permits—to carry concealed weapons on campuses of public universities. State Rep. Joe Salazar came under fire for statements he made during the debate over the bill, which indicated that he felt that fear of rape on campus should not be the motivating factor for the House to vote against the bill.
“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles," Salazar said. "Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop -- pop around at somebody.”
The bill passed 34-31. Three Democrats broke rank and voted against it. The University of Colorado message went up. Cue social media backlash.
Then, a few hours after the bill passed, a message was posted to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs website advising its female students on possible ways to help protect themselves from potential sexual assault. The tips include:
6. Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
7. Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
UCCS started to take some heat on social media sites. Then, conservatives began to chime in on Twitter using the hashtag #LiberalTips2AvoidRape, turning the advisory message into a punch line.
Now, it's the typical liberal vs. conservative split on Twitter, with GOP supporters tweeting #LiberalTips2AvoidRape jokes and calling out State Rep. Joe Salazar while Democrats condemn conservatives for using the hashtag in the first place. [International Business Times]
The full message from UCCS is posted below.
Updated message from February 18, 2013 at 6:30pm from the Department of Public Safety:
The ten points of information below were used in a context supplemented with additional information during the in-class training covered in the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class. The R.A.D. class is offered free of charge as a public service to women who are part of the greater UCCS community.
Rape Aggression Defense Systems (RAD Systems) is a hands-on, women only self defense and risk reduction education program designed to teach women realistic ways to defend and protect oneself from sexual and abductive assaults. RAD is an international organization of certified law enforcement instructors.
For more information regarding the RAD class, classes scheduled for the spring semester, or any other crime prevention programs, please visit the following pages:
What To Do If You Are Attacked
These tips are designed to help you protect yourself on campus, in town, at your home, or while you travel. These are preventative tips and are designed to instruct you in crime prevention tactics.
- Be realistic about your ability to protect yourself.
- Your instinct may be to scream, go ahead! It may startle your attacker and give you an opportunity to run away.
- Kick off your shoes if you have time and can't run in them.
- Don't take time to look back; just get away.
- If your life is in danger, passive resistance may be your best defense.
- Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.
- Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone.
- Yelling, hitting or biting may give you a chance to escape, do it!
- Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.
- Remember, every emergency situation is different. Only you can decide which action is most appropriate.