Since the subject of rape seems to be present on boards a lot today after a few disturbing news stories that have broken I thought I'd ask peoples opinions on educating their daughters to take precautions / think about the bad consequences that can happen from seemingly unrelated decisions.Please be assured that I'm not for one second arguing for victim blaming or anything of the sort.
I will, however, at some point in my daughter's future be attempting to teach her decisions and actions can make her more likely to end up a victim of sexual assault.
Obviously as her father, I'm sure I'll consider the outfits she wears to discos to be too short, low cut or revealing in some fashion or other and being a grumpy old man at heart will bemoan the fashions of youth of the day completely forgetting the women of my own generation who dressed like streetwalkers (or the lads who's fashion derived from prison inmates). I'll try to hide those feelings however and attempt to teach her that to a scumbag section of society, her short skirt will make her "fair game".
I'll attempt to teach her to understand the effect of alcohol in the safety of our own home. I'm fond of good beer, wine and whiskey myself, to preach at her about temperance would make me an utter hypocrite. I'll still try to teach her that if she drinks to the point where she's not fully aware of her surroundings that she's putting herself at risk of the actions of those around her.
I'll attempt to educate her to the dangers of accepting drinks from strangers, to be wary of *any* drink she consumes that she hasn't prepared herself, seen poured from the beer tap or been present whilst the bottle of wine was opened. Regardless of the company.
I'll try to teach her to be a good judge of character but also to be aware that our judgement as fallible human beings can never be perfect and that there are people out there who, while seeming perfectly charming and nice can turn very nasty as soon as the bedroom door closes or she tells him she doesn't want to take things any further.
I'll try to teach her that even doing everything in her power to protect herself won't make her 100% safe, that the world is inhabited by men (and women) who are all shades of good and evil, that while it's not worth living one's life in fear, that it makes sense to not only look before you leap but to check the parachute is packed carefully and make sure your friends know where you are.
Of course, I'll be bringing her along to some form of martial art or self defence lessons at some stage to try and equip her with the skills to beat anyone who tries to harm her to a bloody pulp and making sure she knows Dad's mobile is always on for when she needs a body disposed of too!
Does this make me a pessimist? a realist? a sad indictment of the world we live in? Anyone else think along the same lines when you see news stories of opinion pieces on subjects such as the recent Slutwalks, rape-culture or victim-blaming etc?