UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Philippines

Philippine police anti-rape post draws flak

Women's rights activists up in arms over a campaign that advises women not to wear revealing clothes

Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Philippine police anti-rape post draws flak

Lawmaker Risa Hontiveros said a police social media post about rape was insensitive. (Photo: Unsplash)

Share this article :
Police in the Philippines have come under fire over a social media post advising women not to wear revealing clothes to avoid being raped

Lucban police station in Quezon province just south of Manila posted the public advisory on June 11 as part of a campaign to end violence against women.

“Love women and don’t abuse their kindness. Girls, don’t wear short clothes then report to us [police officers] when you’re harassed. Consider that,” said the post.

The post has drawn condemnation from church and civil society groups who called it demeaning and in poor taste.

Benedictine Sister Mary John Mananzan, a prominent women’s rights activist, said rape should not be the subject of any joke as it is a sensitive issue that society should abhor, not even to be tolerated in terms of jokes.

“Rape is a crime against the honor of women. We must teach men not to rape instead of teaching women what to wear in order not get raped,” she said in a statement.

“Don’t blame the victim. The blame is totally on the rapist because he is the predator.”

Lawmaker Risa Hontiveros said the social media post is insensitive and uncalled for.

“Girls and women do not report sex crimes precisely because of the tendency to blame victims. Let’s retire this way of thinking,” said Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

Women’s rights group Gabriela, of which Sister Mary John served as chairwoman for 18 years, also condemned the post, calling it “lewd” and “grossly inappropriate.”

“Public officials should at all times be accountable to the people and shall discharge their duties with utmost responsibility and respect. Where is respect in that post?” said Marinela De Guzman, a spokeswoman for the group.

The Philippine National Police responded to the backlash, saying it would investigate who was responsible for the post.

The police post was not the first-time government and law enforcement officials have been criticized for making inappropriate comments about rape and for blaming victims of rape and sexual harassment.

In January 2016, police at another police station posted 10 rape prevention tips for men that included advising potential rapists to carry a whistle.

“Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you,” one tip said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has come under fire from women’s and human rights groups for cracking rape jokes in speeches or interviews.

In 2016, he drew flack for comments about the 1989 rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a prison siege in Davao, in which he joked he should have been first in line to rape her.

During a 2018 speech in the central Philippine city of Mandaue, the president suggested that beautiful women made rape inevitable as he defended his anti-crime record while he was mayor of Davao in Mindanao.

“As long as there are many beautiful women, there will be more rape cases,” he said in comments about a high number of rape cases in the city.

Duterte, who has often been accused of misogyny by women's rights activists, also joked on national television in 2018 that he gave an order to the armed forces to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

“There is a new order [from the president]. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina, so that if there is no vagina, it would be useless,” Duterte said.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution