Rape is up over 25 percent in Dallas this year so far, and when asked to account for it, police chief David Brown said that "date rape" (a misleadingly innocent term) was partly responsible, and that there was a need to "create a message to the victims of this type of crime, related to, you know, someone you don't know that well, you having a little bit too much to drink," and that you should "have your friends watch you," per The Dallas Observer.
Traditional daily The Dallas Morning News seems to want to paint this as a case of irresponsible local bloggers from the alt-weekly scene twisting Chief David Brown's words.
Here's a video of his remarks:
"I absolutely did not state that the victims are to blame for sexual assault. I was explaining that a preliminary DPD analysis of the increase shows that many of the cases involve alcohol and date rape. I do want to continue to emphasize that women be aware of their surroundings and, when possible, travel in pairs or in a group to enhance security around sexual assault."
"I just think it's irresponsible for bloggers to put inaccurate information in reports to excite or to create this uproar that is not consistent with my statement," "They're being irresponsible. This is a very sensitive issue and we really do want to make victims aware of how to protect themselves from these predators."
True, Brown did not say, "Women who drink deserve to be raped." And it is always a good idea for women to take precautions to protect themselves. But Brown has yet to examine the assumption that women bear the burden of preventing rape — not rapists, not other men, and certainly not Chief of Police David Brown.
As Shelby Knox put it in a message to Brown and his constituents:
Men of Dallas: Your Chief of Police doesn't seem to think you possess enough self-control or self-respect to resist violating a woman who's been drinking. Be offended by this and be part of the solution. You watch your friends and remind them that if a woman is too drunk to say ‘yes,' she's too drunk for sex.
Women of Dallas: Rape is rape is rape. If you were raped while drunk it doesn't make it your fault or any less of a crime.
Let's hope Brown gets the message.
Dallas Police Chief's Solution To Date Rape: Women, Stop Drinking [The Ms. Education Of Shelby Knox]
Blogger Alert: Chief Brown Responds [D Magazine]
Video: What What Dallas Police Chief David Brown Really Said Yesterday About Increase In Reported Rape Cases [Dallas Morning News]