Tell British Head Teacher: Skirts Do Not Invite Sexual Assault
- by: Audrey Arthur
- recipient: Head Teacher Claire Owen of Herne Bay High School
Administrators at Herne Bay High School are teaching their female students that risk of sexual assault is dependent on their hemlines.
Head Teacher Claire Owen sent out a school-wide letter warning parents that skirts are being worn in violation of the school dress code and therefore "female students are putting themselves at risk."
The suggestion that women and girls are somehow inviting sexual abuse by wearing skirts higher than 10 centimeters above the knee is not only counterproductive; it is also a form of victim blame. The attire of a young woman is not a catalyst for sexual assault and teaching such lessons to school-aged girls only further embeds rape apologetics into society.
Tell Head Teacher Claire Owen that skirts are not to blame for sexual assault.
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In a letter addressed to the parents of Herne Bay High School, you stated that female students should adhere to the school's dress code in order to remain safe. We understand that the safety of your students is a priority, however, the only danger being amplified by that letter is the risk that your students will become rape apologists. Whether skirts or trousers, no student should be taught that sexual assault is caused by the dress of the victim. We wish for you to retract your statements and issue another letter concerning the harmful affects of victim blame.