How to prevent sexual assault (no chilli powder required) | Libby Brooks

Following the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi last Sunday, an Indian police chief has provoked further fury by advising that women can avoid sexual assault by carrying chilli powder to throw at attackers and not going out after dark. KP Raghuvanshi joins the pantheon of men who have said said useless things about rape, taking his lead from the West Yorkshire police who in the 70s advised women not to go out alone at night in order to avoid being raped, mutilated and murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper.

Perhaps inevitably, as a woman one can feel the pressure to avoid being raped weighs heavily. Only this morning, I managed to avoid being violated three times on the way into work, by walking along main roads and wearing a penguin onesie in order to disguise my tempting femaleness.

It transpires, however, that there are other strategies for preventing sexual assault that do not require the entire female population of any given town or country to stay indoors. The magnificent Feminist Law Professors blog suggested some a while back, and their list, written by Ann Bartow, list bears a re-read in these challenging times. So KP Raghuvanshi, may I humbly suggest that you peruse the following Sexual Assault Prevention Tips. They are guaranteed to work, and involve no chilli powder or curfewed women whatsoever.

Anne Bartow's Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

1. Don't put drugs in people's drinks in order to control their behaviour.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON'T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don't pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don't communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don't forget: you can't have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone "on accident" you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.