Covering the Rape at Tulane
April 30, 2009 by jackierapp18
I made this comment in class a while back, but it’s still something I’m frustrated about. We did a great deal of chatting about blaming the victim in rape cases in general, and also the recent rapes at Tulane in particular. I posted some links below on the coverage of the rapes around Tulane. As usual, they focus mainly on what actions women can take to prevent themselves, and they eroticize the attack. Here are some quotes that really got to me from the first link:
•…Two weeks earlier, on September 28, in the 7000 block of Freret Street, a 19-year-old student was walking from a nightclub when she was attacked and sexually assaulted. Police say both victims had been drinking. …
•…”We are trying to get the (Tulane) University to help us to appeal to the victims, not just these in particular but young ladies in general, to give them an education on consumption in alcohol, not walking at night by themselves, making sure if they leave campus, they get to and from there in a safe manner,” said Marlon DeFillo, Assistant Superintendent for the New Orleans Police Department. …
… I mean, really girls, do a better job at controlling your drinking. Especially that girl who got raped near the Boot in broad daylight.
Another thing that bothers me about the coverage is the way they eroticize the rapes. All of the girls in this video (second link) are shown waist down, and most of them in shorts or a skirt. Are they suggesting something? The victim didn’t want to file a report, and was described as “not being able to give a good description of the attacker, but campus believes the students claims are credible.” Thanks, a lot. This is particularly bothersome to me, because it seems to be a trend in the coverage of the Tulane rapes to put not only the blame on the victim, but also the responsibility. The last bullet point in a crime alert email sent out by Tulane helping all of us women to protect ourselves ended with this, “BE A GOOD WITNESS. Describe exactly what you observe with as many details as possible. Give complete descriptions such as sex, race, height, weight, hair color, clothing, etc”. I don’t ever remember the witness being called out for not doing a good enough job in providing information before… and certainly not in the case of the fraternity that burned each other. Those boys weren’t warned against the dangers of alcohol consumption and going out after dark. But alas, I have rambled for long enough. Enjoy the links. I also posted some of the coverage from the frat hazing fiasco so they can be compared.