Ask Radio Personality to Apologize for Saying that Kidnapping and Sexual Harassment Victim Should Have Known BetterBy Sarah Wilhoit
Target: Willie B’s Morning Show Intern, Sweet Cheeks on Denver’s KBPI Radio Station
Goal: Ask radio personality to apologize for saying that a victim of sexual harassment and kidnapping should have known better.
Recently, a Denver morning show was discussing a news story about a woman who was held captive and sexually harassed while delivering a pizza. A radio DJ known as “Sweet Cheeks” commented that the woman “should have known better” than to enter a man’s apartment. She went on to imply that it was the woman’s fault for getting kidnapped, sexually harassed, and assaulted because it was stupid of her to let her guard down.
The woman discussed was delivering a pizza and held captive by a 42-year-old man when he asked her to bring in the pizza and set it on his coffee table for him. When she complied with his request, Jonathan Quinlan would not let her leave, and he reportedly insisted that she become his wife. He held her captive for more than 40 minutes, while continuing to insist that she marry him. He is being charged with indecent assault and kidnapping for this incident.
Blaming the victim is an unfortunate practice in America, wherein people conclude that women should take more measures to prevent being sexually assaulted and/or harassed rather than insist that men stop perpetrating these crimes. By saying that this woman “should have known better” than to enter a man’s apartment when delivering a pizza, this radio DJ is blaming the woman, rather than the perpetrator, for this act of violence. Women should not have to live in constant fear of being assaulted, and women also should not be blamed when assaults do occur. Rape is an underreported crime in great part because of attitudes about victims of assault not doing enough to prevent the crime.
Help fight stereotypes about sexual assault and sexual harassment victims. Ask radio DJ Sweet Cheeks to apologize for saying that a kidnapping and sexual harassment victim should have known better.
Dear KBPI’s Morning Show,
On January 25, 2013 during your segment called “Stupid Stories,” Sweet Cheeks commented that a woman who was held captive and sexually harassed while delivering a pizza “should have known better.” She went on to imply that it was the woman’s fault for getting kidnapped and sexually harassed because she should have realized that the man was going to perpetrate a crime against her. This is an unfortunate example of victim blaming that occurs with especially high frequency against women who have been sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped.
Victim blaming occurs when people conclude that women should or could have prevented being sexually assaulted or harassed. Engaging in victim blaming perpetuates stereotypes about women that they deserve to be sexually assaulted or harassed because they did not take enough steps to prevent it from occurring. Rather than blaming the victim, we should be insisting that these crimes do not occur to begin with. Rape is an underreported crime and many women do not come forward about sexual assaults in fear of being blamed for the incident.
As you know, the incident that Sweet Cheeks commented on involved a woman being held captive when she delivered a pizza to 42-year-old Jonathan Quinlan. He asked her to bring the pizza inside and set it down, and when she complied, he held her captive and sexually harassed her for more than 40 minutes, reportedly insisting that she become his wife. He is now being charged with indecent assault and kidnapping.
This woman was no doubt terrified during this encounter and had no way of knowing that the man was going to hold her captive. Please stop perpetuating sexist stereotypes about women who get sexually harassed/ assaulted and apologize for saying that she “should have known better.”
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: 152569670 via Slate.com