MANILA - Some netizens on Wednesday called out a Facebook post of the Angono police station on how to prevent rape, saying it espouses misogyny.
The post advised netizens to refrain from wearing short clothes, drinking on dates and walking alone in dark places. It also encouraged learning self-defense and carrying tear gas or pepper spray.
Some netizens said police should instead discourage potential perpetrators from committing rape, citing how the tips bordered on victim blaming.
"Don't teach your daughters to be afraid. Teach your sons to behave," wrote netizen Jillian Yap Olorcisimo in the comments.
Others like Cyrus Alvarez wrote an alternative tip, saying bluntly: "Huwag kang mang-rape (Do not commit rape)."
Netizen Sef Villaflor, meanwhile, made his own version of the police unit's anti-rape tips, saying the Angono station's post perpetuates the "rape culture."
Some also questioned the competency of the police unit.
"Nagdaan na po ba kayo sa Gender Sensitivity training? Kasi baka po hindi kayo aware na wala po sa suot na damit o sa pakikipag-inuman ang rape," one netizen wrote.
(Did you take up Gender Sensitivity training? You may not be aware that rape has nothing to do with one's clothing or drinking habit.)
Some netizens, however, defended the tips, saying the police had good intentions and that it would not be wrong to take precaution.
The Facebook post has been shared more than 6,600 times and has garnered 4,300 reactions as of this posting.
A separate post by advocacy group Babae Ako sharing a screenshot of the tips with a remark "EXCUSE ME, ANGONO POLICE?" has been shared 2,700 shares and has received more than 1,700 reactions.
Staunch women’s rights advocate Sen. Risa Hontiveros also weighed in, saying in a statement that she is “extremely disappointed” with the Angono police’s post.
“While the intention of the information material may be good, it promotes victim blaming by asking women to conform to a particular way of dressing in order to be respected and avoid being raped,” she said.
Hontiveros said the post, which discourages women from dressing a certain way supposedly to avoid being raped, “is not only an insult to many victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence, but it also sends a wrong signal that women are raped because of our actions or preferences.”
“May I remind our police force that a woman's clothing choice doesn't cause rape. Clothes don't cause rape, rapists do. Instead of "teaching" women how to dress "appropriately" and limit our choices, our police force should help in educating the public, especially men, that forcing themselves upon women is unacceptable and constitutes rape,” she said.
Hontiveros said her office is willing to train Angono police personnel on producing gender-sensitive information materials.