‘Was this you’: People are tagging their mates and commenting jokes on posts about sexual assault on FSG
What the hell is wrong with y’all
Fallowfield has a notoriously high rate of sexual harassment and assault, particularly against female students. Last month, three men attempted to abduct a female student on Egerton Road. Not too long after, a taxi driver tried to pull another female student into his car. These incidents merely scratch the surface of what so many women in Fallowfield experience.
If you look at Fallowfield Students' Group you'll probably find a myriad of posts from women saying that they have been followed, harassed or sexually assaulted in the area.
Third year Jessica Hyer made a post on Fallowfield Students' Group warning other women of a man who had masturbated in front of her on Egerton Road. I clicked on the comments to offer support and found that a couple of 'lads' had tagged their mates in the comments saying 'was this you?' or something to that effect, as if this was a laughing matter.
I was not surprised. I have actually lost track of the number of times I have seen posts on FSG warning other people of sexual predators in the area, only to be met with 'lads' making light of their traumatising experiences.
While there were some comments of support on Jessica's post, there were also comments like 'this is why we don't let Dave out at night ffs' and there was even one comment saying 'if in doubt get it out'.
Lads, you need to stop doing this. A person has just been through a horrible ordeal and your reaction is to crack jokes on the comment section, and not even ask if they're okay? How hard is it to have a bit of empathy and not publicly downplay somebody's trauma? You could have shared your crap banter in a private message, not on the victim's comments.
Not only are these jokes painfully immature, they are outright disrespectful. Put yourself in the victim's shoes. You wouldn't comment jokes on a post about being mugged or beaten up, why do you think it's okay to comment jokes on a post about sexual assault?
It's almost as if the 'lads' making these jokes have never left school, and still giggle at the word 'penis'. It's time to grow up.
There is nothing funny about the very real threat of sexual assault women face in Fallowfield. While being the victim of any violent crime is (obviously) unpleasant, there is no crime quite as personally violating as sexual assault. Comparing your mate, even jokingly, to a sex offender is not funny, it's disgusting. And to comment this 'banter' to somebody who has just encountered one is inexcusable.
Some people reading this might say 'it's only a joke'. How is there anything funny about laughing in the face of a victim of sexual assault? The complete disregard for a scared woman's wellbeing in these comments is appalling.
Of course, it's not that all guys are like this. Alongside the 'lads' making these comments there are also guys offering support and encouraging people to report incidents to the police (basically just being decent human beings).
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, I urge you to contact the police on 101. Whether it is someone being a creep or actual assault, they will want to know.
Alternatively, you can also contact Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999.