Aim questions not at potential victims, but at culture of violence against women

I was quoted in the article “Residents’ safety zone is shattered by attack” (Metro, Nov. 12), concerning the sexual assault that took place on Beacon Hill around 3 a.m. Nov. 10. After my brief conversation with the reporter, the question he’d posed as to what I, as a resident of the area, might do differently after the attack lingered in my head for hours.

The implication of questions such as this is that if the young woman who suffered this gruesome and terrifying invasion had been more aware, hadn’t been out so late, had been more prepared, etc., then this wouldn’t have happened to her. She wasn’t attacked because of her behavior, habits, or state of vigilance or preparedness. She was attacked because a man chose to attack her.

The question should never be how potential victims will change their behavior; instead, we should question the cultural attitudes that promote violence against women and create the perpetrators of these crimes.

Julia Probert

Beacon Hill