Jaw Dropping Air Force Brochure Advises Rape Victims to ‘Submit’ Instead of Resisting

Monday an Air Force officer who led the sexual assault prevention unit was charged with groping a woman in a parking lot, and now uncovered is more military disregard for women via a jaw dropping brochure containing appalling advice in light of the shocking level of sexual abuse against women in the US military. An Air Force brochure acquired by Danger Room, on sexual assault advises potential victims not to fight off their attackers but instead to ‘submit.’ In the creator of the brochure’s mind, instead of educating others on the prevention of rape, submission is the key.

Image: L.A. Progressive

Image: L.A. Progressive









Wired reports“It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist,” reads the brochure (.pdf), issued to airmen at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned. “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”

The brochure does however, explain that sexual assault is not always committed by people who “don’t look like a rapist” — attackers “tend to have hyper-masculine attitudes,” but, the brochure does not offer instruction to servicemembers on not committing sexual assault, which points to prevention to be treated as the responsibility of potential victims.

Wired adds, “Rapists look for vulnerability and then exploit it in those who: are young (naive); are new to the base, deployment, area, etc.; are emotionally unstable,” the brochure (.pdf) continues.”

The brochure was issued to service members at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

Read more here. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/deborah.cicconi.5 Deborah Cicconi

    The military has an appalling record of not policing rape, but I must say this about the above quotes from the article “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”–this is almost identical to what the police have asked of potential victims. Don’t fight back or the rapist is more like to seriously hurt or kill you. So this article is not as dramatic as it purports to be. Oddly enough, the police have begun asking women to not look like a victim: to yell or act aggressively with apotential rapist; In certain cases, make personal comments about yourself so that the rapist cannot objectify you… and so on. I think educating males that women are not objects to be used is a better solution. Educating women to observe the men around them and to protect themselves is crucial.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000357460804 Nora Edwards

      It should say, this is an enemy. Kill him if you get a chance. That would be more appropriate.

    • Joey F

      Hi Deborah, thanks for commenting. The quotes are mostly straight up ridiculous, but I’ll admit the “make this decision based on circumstances” one sounds somewhat reasonable.

      But it’s not.

      From my consultation with experts on preventing assaults on college campuses, rapists generally know this: if I leave evidence of physical violence, blood, or other dna, I am more likely to get caught. So fighting back either stops rapists, or is more likely to lead to their arrest. Screaming, shouting NO. GET AWAY etc. is a deterrent, not to mention that many potential “victims” are highly trained in combat. Admittedly there must be some horrible circumstance in which someone could understandably make the decision to not fight back, but it is patronizing to say “that’s your decision”. No actually it was the rapists decision. Like you say, education is key. Including self-defense, including telling people to use it. Because our culture says submit all the time.

      And then just a gen. response to the article: I’d also argue that “submit” is not the same as “don’t fight back outwardly”. Submit connotes spiritual acceptance, loss, etc. When I know many people have experienced violence, yet not ever “submitted” mentally or spiritually. They withstood, but did not ever submit.

      • Joey F

        Also, I just read the whole brochure. Point of Information: seems like they are actually two separate documents. Also, I have a sense that there is some compassion behind the “submit” brochure. That is terrible language as I’ve mentioned, but I do not believe the writer is doing anything but committing ignorance and perhaps unconsciously perpetuating rape culture in his/her effort to help people protect themselves. Sometimes women, and sometimes victims, hold what are the least PC, most victim-blaming, views on sexual assault.

        Lastly, I hope all mobilization in Congress on this actually gets something done.