Student journalists investigate 'rape culture' at Paly
Original post made
on Apr 9, 2013
The editor of a student magazine at Palo Alto High School said her staff has received "overwhelmingly positive" reaction to a cover package investigating "rape culture" among students published April 9. Writers said they want to "break the silence" and challenge readers' sense of inevitability about rape.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 12:50 PM
Posted by FYI
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm
Through a rapist's eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.
3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.
5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.
6] Number three is public restrooms.
7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught.
8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.
9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.
POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:
1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter. Now that you've seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.
2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.
4] If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and
armpit or in the upper inner thigh - HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.
5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy's parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of
trouble. Start causing trouble, and he's out of there.
6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked
7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, and go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL....
I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go "hmm I must remember that" After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in
this crazy world we live in.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.
2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans: if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit
(doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS, LEAVE.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side, peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. (DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB).
b. If you! U are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
c. Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard /policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
Posted by Verde Editor In Chief
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm
Verde Editor In Chief is a registered user.
Dear Palo Alto High School community,
Many of you are receiving the latest issue of Verde magazine in your mailboxes today. Please be mindful that the magazines you are receiving do not include the extended editors' note that accompanied all copies of the magazine distributed Tuesday on campus and which has been available with the digital version online at The Paly Voice (Web Link). Given that the Voice site is experiencing technical difficulties this afternoon, we have decided to paste that introduction in here. We request that you read it before commenting on any part of the package.
Thank you for your support of this difficult discussion.
Verde magazine editors, 2012-2013
"Dear Paly community,
Most societies don't talk about rape. We consider it a taboo, conditioning victims to feel ashamed about speaking out and forcing them to deal with the aftermath in silence. But the recent rapes committed in Steubenville, Amherst and New Delhi have forced us to examine how we deal with sexual assault.
Our cover package, to be released on Tuesday, April 9, examines the many facets of rape culture, from victim-blaming to flawed media coverage of rape to the old â€œboys will be boys" clichÃ©. Lisie Sabbag's article â€œâ€˜You can't tell me I wasn't raped'" tells the story of two rape victims and the overwhelming lack of support they received from the community. Sabbag also discusses the ways our culture teaches us to perceive rape as inevitable. Be mindful that this story deals with accounts of sexual assault, and may be an emotional trigger for some people. Please read on cautiously. In Will Queen's piece â€œBreaking the Silence," he offers a male perspective on the lack of discussion surrounding sexual assault. Finally, Savannah Cordova explains why rape jokes aren't funny in â€œTaking it Seriously."
Throughout the process of composing our cover package, our staff strove to practice objective reporting, as discussed in our editorial. Although we were unable to interview the boys directly involved in the stories we share, we tried to make up for it by including other male Paly voices. In particular, please read â€œFrom a different angle: a discussion with Paly guys" or Queen's story mentioned above that takes a male perspective on the issue. We are focused on the broader issue of rape culture in Palo Alto, not on pointing fingers at individuals.
We stress that all of the photo illustrations in our cover package were taken with models from our staff and are not connected with the sources in our stories. In addition, we've discussed this story with the survivors every step of the way. Everything printed has been approved by the victims who shared their stories, as well as experts in counseling for sexual violence and reporting sexual violence. On that note, we'd like to express our gratitude to the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism (Web Link), which is dedicated to responsible coverage of traumatic events, including rape coverage. The organization worked with us to make Sabbag's story show the best and most compassionate reporting possible. In writing this story, Sabbag also received help from the Student Press Law Center (Web Link), the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (Web Link) and a Poynter Institute course on â€œReporting on Sexual Violence." (Web Link)
As many of you read Sabbag's story, you may see yourself or your friends or classmates in the anecdotes about the rape victims. With that being said, our aim is not to identify either the victims or perpetrators featured in the article. By publishing an article on rape culture, our goal is to increase discussion about the issue, not the individuals involved. You may know or think you know those featured in the article. Please don't name names or speculate as to the victims' or perpetrators' identities either in conversation or online. Not only does it detract from the goal of proactive discussion on rape culture, but it can be defamatory for both victims and alleged perpetrators as well. Speculation can quickly spiral into false accusations, which are damaging to people's lives. Additionally, in reporting this story, Sabbag drew from a number of cases similar to the ones depicted in the anecdotes. Any speculation is irresponsible and likely to be inaccurate. Again, our goal in publishing this article is not to point fingers, but to generate productive discussion about rape as an issue.
However, we aren't asking rape victims to stay silent. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, you don't have to keep quiet. Get help by calling RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or the local YWCA of Silicon Valley's crisis hotline 650.493.7273.You can also communicate with Palo Alto High School's on-campus Adolescent Counseling Services at 650.833.4244. Off-campus Adolescent Counseling Services can be contacted at 408.279.8228.
We don't want the conversation to stop here. If you have any comments on this package, responsible discussion should continue on the comment sections on the Paly Voice, the Verde Facebook page, and using the twitter hashtag #verderapeculture. Additionally, if you want your comments to remain private, please email any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to contact the author of the feature article directly, you can do so at email@example.com. If you would like to direct a comment specifically to the Verde Magazine adviser Paul Kandell, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Verde and Paly faculty members are also working on additional efforts to provide forums for discussion of these issues on campus.
Finally, thank you to the editors at The Paly Voice, who have generously helped us post our work online while our own site is undergoing maintenance.
â€" Ana Carano, Sharon Tseng, and Evelyn Wang