RIZAL — The Angono Municipal Police has publicly apologized over a statement it posted online on tips to prevent incidents of rape, which some critics said included inappropriate and misogynist content.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Angono Police Chief Senior Supt. Ruben Pequero said it is sending out its heartfelt apologies to those offended by its statement titled, “Paalala Para Makaiwas sa Rape”.
“Ang amin pong intensyon ay mapaalalahanan ang lahat para maiwasan po na maging biktima ng insidente ng rape (Our intention is to remind everyone to avoid becoming a victim of rape),” the Angono Police said on its Facebook page.
A number of critics earlier denounced the police station warning, which includes such suggestions as “Do not wear skimpy clothes,” and “Do not drink during dates.”
The reminders also include practical pieces of advice, such as being cautious on first dates with persons one is unfamiliar with and avoiding dark streets when alone.
On Wednesday, Senator Risa Hontiveros said the Angono Police’s anti-rape information flyer is not only an insult to victims of sexual abuse but also promotes victim-blaming.
“I am extremely disappointed with the Angono Police’s anti-rape information flyer. While the intention of the information material may be good, it promotes victim-blaming by asking women to conform to a particular way of dressing in order to be respected and avoid being raped,” she said in a statement.
Hontiveros pointed out that the anti-rape flyer’s “dress code” lays unwarranted blame on rape victims.
“The material that they issued is not only an insult to many victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence, but it also sends a wrong signal that women are raped because of our actions or preferences,” she said.
The senator reminded the police that a woman’s clothing choice does not cause rape, stressing that “clothes don’t cause rape, rapists do.”
“Instead of teaching women how to dress appropriately and limit our choices, our police force should help in educating the public, especially men, that forcing themselves upon women is unacceptable and constitutes rape,” Hontiveros said.
However, despite her disagreement over the “dress code” issue, the lawmaker said her office is willing to support the Angono Police in its campaign against all forms of sexual abuse against women.
“My office is willing to extend any help to the Angono Police force in training their personnel, producing gender-sensitive information materials and implementing programs to help educate the public on how to recognize and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against women,” Hontiveros said.