By Courtney Kidd, LMSW SJS Staff Writer
Never re-victimize the victim. This is a fairly standard rule that we abide by in order to do no harm. It comes up a lot during treatment for Domestic violence, sexual trauma, trauma and other instances where blaming victim takes away from the actions or the perpetrator. Not everyone gets this though. In Brussels, as part of an initiation to a fraternity, a young male student was in drag, and then mugged and gang raped by a group of youths. The response from the University was to ban males from dressing in drag in order to not provoke others.
This places a level of blame on the victim, similar to “Well, look what she’s wearing.” A perpetrator’s actions is completely their own and needs to be held as such. Banning cross-dressing also alienates a sub-population of students who might identify a need to dress as the opposite sex. Will they too be banned from this? I had a college professor who made quite the impact on me. One of the things she said when discussing the topic of rape and violence is that any individual should be able to walk around naked and have no fear of violation. This is not to say that nudity in public is acceptable, obviously it’s a family place, but the point is that there is never an acceptable point to be made by the outward appearance in order to justify the atrocious action. The right message must be sent to both the students and those responsible.
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