The original opposite-of-editorial (op-ed) article is located here: http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/1097620/letters-editor-december-5-2012

This is a short response to the editorial (“SlutWalk protests need to consider common sense”, November 29).

The views expressed in the editorial are overly simplistic, and despite statements to the contrary, the message comes across as victim-blaming.

There is the assumption that the problem is just a criminal one, that of “bad people”, while victims should just remember not to remain silent and inform the police.

I would just like to clarify a few points here.

Perpetrators of sexual violence are usually known to the victims as family or acquaintances, not some stereotypically sex-starved strangers.

The legal system does not favour victims of sexual violence, and they are often told not to pursue the cases and/or suffer second victimisation.

Women have been victimised wearing pyjamas, tracksuits, hijabs and all sorts of clothing; it is silly to suggest that sexual violence can be prevented by women having “more common sense” and dressing in a more socially acceptable fashion. The suggestion means that victims have somehow invited perpetrators to assault them. Rape is about power, not sex or clothing.

Victims do not deserve to be assaulted, even if they act or dress differently to others. Common sense should be that rape myths are ridiculous and sexual violence is never OK, not that we should all live in fear.

It is inappropriate to compare the theft of property to sexual violence; unlike property, women and our bodies are not objects. Your editorial illustrates why we need the SlutWalk movement.

Angie Ng, SlutWalk Hong Kong

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