A Toronto street preacher is shouting out his opinion that laws in Canada need to be changed to give women a dress code so that we can prevent sexual assaults.
These comments are Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana’s response to recent assaults at York University in Toronto. Five women have come forward saying they were assaulted on campus in early July (the suspect is in police custody) and York’s safety measures are currently being reviewed.
Atangana says these could have been prevented if Canadian laws didn’t grant women so much freedom. In a letter to the Toronto Sun, he writes:
Women in North America are falling victims of the Democratic Freedom that you they passionly believe in. The reason why a woman gets raped is because of the way she dress. Women dress so provocatively so much that they receive too much attention for themselves and that attention at times leads to death.
He says that arresting actual rapists doesn’t help the problem because as long as women dress provocatively they will always be targets.
Never does he say that perhaps the men who make women targets might be the problem; in fact, he talks about what women need to do “to avoid being sexually assaulted” rather than what society can do to stop rapists in their tracks.
His letter follows on the heels of remarks by police officer Michael Snaguinetti who told York University law school students: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
These men are both serving to make it harder on women to report their assaults for fear of being blamed or not being believed in what should be a safe place.
It might do some good to focus more on the fact that York has no obligation to report complaints to police once they get them, and if those assaults aren’t being reported to police, women on and off campus are being put at risk.
Photo Credit: Peter