International media recently reported that a 22 year old female student was captured on video being slapped by a male near a public cafe. The man had been making “obscene and degrading comments” as well as “noises with sexual connotations”. The female student told the man to shut up. He responded by throwing an ashtray at her, and when he missed he caught up with her and hit her forcefully in the face. The assault was captured on video.
A few days later a follow-up national news story not-so-subtly shamed and blamed the female student who was publicly slapped in the face by the man harassing her.
Hoping to see some news regarding the man’s capture and punishment, I clicked on the CBC news story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/street-harassment-tips-response-waterloo-region-1.4771759 There is complete absence of any news related to justice. Instead, the article outlines tips for women and girls to respond to harassment.
The article puts responsibility for resolving male violence squarely back in the hands of “women and girls”. The article might just as well have stated outright that the female student captured on video was responsible for being smacked in the face – because of how she responded. Have we not moved past this type of victim shaming/blaming? Where is the follow-up news that outlines steps being taken to address male violence and harassment of women and girls, such as laws and punishment of perpetrators?