We are very saddened, disappointed, and frustrated by the Campus Security Alert sent out to the U of C community on Friday, January 10th regarding a report of sexual assault. We are saddened in solidarity to the victim for obvious reasons, and we hope that she is receiving all of the love and care needed to recover from such a situation. We are disappointed at the perpetrator for many, many reasons but most importantly, for taking advantage of an individual in a vulnerable position by completely disrespecting her physical autonomy. And finally, we are frustrated at the nature of the alert itself as a victim-focused prevention tool. We reiterate, it is not the responsibility of potential victims to be on the lookout. It is absolutely the responsibility of potential perpetrators to respect the autonomy of all, no matter the circumstances. The alert hints that potential victims should take precautions for their own safety, rather than emphasizing for perpetrators to take full responsibility.
Moreover, the email describing the perpetrator is not specific at all, which makes it virtually impossible for potential victims to take safety precautions. This is not said to blame Campus Security, as we realize the circumstances may have limited them to this ambiguity, but we point this out to emphasize how ineffective victim-focused prevention really is. Our sole existence is based on this premise, therefore we insist on moving towards perpetrator-focused prevention by educating the campus community to engage in encounters and relationships only when they are consensual.