Victim blaming is a common practice that needs to stop, especially when it comes to issues of rape and sexual harassment. No matter what someone is wearing or where they’re hanging out, no woman or man is ever asking to be raped or harassed.
The real problem doesn’t lie with the victim, it has to do with the perpetrator. One woman found a genius way to exemplify this using her adorable dog.
Dog photos often go viral, but this now-viral image isn’t just cute, it’s on point and so telling.
Tennessee-based pastry chef Bree Wiseman snapped a pic of her dog patiently sitting beside his all-time favorite food and then used the image to make a powerful statement about victim blaming.
“To the people that say women get raped due to the way they are dressed. This is my dog,” she captioned the photo.
“His favorite food is steak. He is eye level with my plate. He won’t get any closer because I told him no. If a dog is better behaved than you are, you need to reevaluate your life. Feel free to share, my dog is adorable.”
The post proved so powerful that it’s been circulating the Internet for 2 years now, gaining over 325,000 shares.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Wiseman said that she hopes her post (and others like it) will help raise awareness about the dangerous nature of victim blaming.
“The only person to blame in a rape offense is the rapist,” she said. “It was their decision to rape. People shouldn’t have to worry about what they chose to wear for fear of rape. I want people to see that this is a problem, and to stand together against victim-shaming.”
According to Rainn.org, an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. On average, 433,648 victims (12 and older) are sexually assaulted or raped every year in the US.
Younger people, particularly those between 12 and 34, are at the highest risk.
In addition, 1 in every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape at some point in her life.
While men experience rape too, the vast majority of victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims and 82% of juvenile victims are female.
Clearly, Bree’s four-year-old pit bull has more self-control than some people in our society.
“If a 4-year-old pit bull understands the word ‘no,’ even though he is looking at something he wants so bad he is literally drooling, then adults should understand ‘no,’ no matter how the other adult is dressed. Appearances shouldn’t make any difference in sexual assault cases,” she explained.
“How is it that a simple-minded animal has the ability to understand better than a large part of the adult population?”
Bree’s adorable dog would like to know the answer to that question as well!
Speaking of her respectful doggo named Louis, he is now six years old. She’s had him since he was a puppy but admits she didn’t put much into training him.
“I didn’t really train him. I just talked to him like he was a person and eventually he caught on! He’s always been well behaved.”
In an interview with Bored Panda, Bree shared that she never expected her post to go viral like it did. While she’s happy that it did, because it’s a message that needs to be heard, it also makes her sad that the message is so relatable.
“Almost everyone I know has been through trauma or at least uncomfortable situations just because someone didn’t respect the word no,” she said.
“I posted that because I believe in what I said. Once the hundreds of comments flooded in misconstruing what I wrote, I turned off the comments. People can take the post however they wish.”