Violence against women: 7 problems with a focus on telling women how to maximise their own safety

1) Focusing only on telling women how to maximise their own safety fails to hold perpetrators accountable for their behaviour, and locates responsibility with the potential victims.

2) Women *already* use a multitude of such strategies.

3) It accepts that some men will use violence, rather than focusing on how to prevent and reduce this, and places the burden on women to police and limit their lives.

4) The strategies are false assurances. Women may ‘do everything right’ and still be assaulted.

5) Focusing only on what women can do to decrease the risks of assault then feeds into victim-blaming when women are assaulted.

6) The strategies typically focus on potential assaults on women by unknown men and in public places, whereas most assaults are by men known to the victim (boyfriends, husbands, male acquaintances, etc.) and in familiar locations.

7) Such a focus does nothing to *prevent* men’s violence against women, by tackling the gender inequalities and patriarchal gender norms at its heart.

For key reviews of and guides to violence prevention, in full text, see the XY collection here: