03/31/2016 01:51 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 05:12 EDT

A Simple Guide For Being A 'Perfect' Sexual Assault Victim

A woman giving a speech in front of an audience
Fuse via Getty Images
A woman giving a speech in front of an audience

Look, ladies, it is simple:

First, you just have to put forth a constant, vigilant effort to not be sexually assaulted. Don't wear anything that might make a man think you're "that kind" of girl. Of course, there's nothing about a man's appearance that will announce him as "that kind" of guy, so you'll also just have to never be alone with a man. Even if you're on a date with him. In fact, be responsible and don't be alone with him if it's your fifth or even your tenth date. Make sure you avoid being alone with him the right way, though: no one likes a frigid girl or a tease.

But if you go and put yourself in a situation where you can be sexually assaulted, it's no big deal. Just make sure you act exactly the right way after the assault. The right way to act after a sexual assault is simple: don't do any of the things that people actually do when dealing with the complex mix of shame, fear, pain, and anger that they feel after being sexually assaulted.

Instead, just act like the perfectly rational fantasy image of what people would like victims to act like. Immediately break off all ties with the person who assaulted you. No trying to get answers or an apology. Are they a member of your social circle? Or a coworker? Even a boss? You'll just have to give up those parts of your life. More importantly, no trying to carry on with your normal habits: we're going to need to see your entire life fall to pieces in the aftermath of the assault. No one said being a proper victim would be easy!

There's nothing about a man's appearance that will announce him as "that kind" of guy, so you'll also just have to never be alone with a man.

You want to report? That's fine, no problem. Just do it immediately. Don't take any time to process what happened to you. Go right to a police station, find a cop who you know with certainty is going to take you seriously and tell him exactly what your story will always be, down to the last detail, with just the right level of emotion (you don't want to seem too composed, but being too upset might make you seem irrational. Balance, ladies!). If you did your job right and picked a cop who takes you seriously, you're almost there!

Now to seal the deal you just need to show the injuries you sustained while fighting for your honour. You did fight, right? Not a crazy amount of fighting that could enrage your assailant and inspire him to seriously injure or kill you, but just the right amount that you've got some notable defensive wounds, the more intimate the better.

Now just show those wounds to some strangers who you know will also take you 100 per cent seriously. You have to be really careful not to encounter anyone who will dismiss you at this point. Use those same womanly powers of character identification that failed to tell you that charming guy you went out with was secretly a violent asshole.

OK, you've got the right kind of evidence documented with representatives of the legal system that definitely sympathize with you more than the assailant, right? And you didn't give them any reason to think that you're just a crazy woman out to ruin some guy's life because you regret surrendering your honour to him like some trollop, right? Nothing left but the trial!

When you're on the stand, repeat, word-for-word, what your original statement said.

It's going to feel like you're the one on trial. Naturally. Sexual assault is a serious charge, and we need to be sure that only real victims are coming forward. Too many women today simply don't mind putting themselves through all of the above just for attention or a petty revenge scheme.

When you're on the stand, repeat, word-for-word, what your original statement said. Make sure you remember the important details, like what model engine he had in his car and the exact number of drinks you had that night (which had better be "zero"! Real victims don't drink socially). Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and that's something the justice system takes very seriously in sexual assault cases but in no other instances.

Under cross examination, remember your emotional balance: too upset, and you seem craaaaaazy (or worse: angry! What kind of girl gets angry at a man over a sexual assault she failed to prevent? Not the kind of girl we want running around pressing charges!). Too composed, and who's going to believe you were a real victim? A choked sob (just one!) here, a tear artfully rolling down your cheek there: simple, right? If you really wanted justice, you could pull it off.

A defence? Why would the guy put up a defense? Either you're the right kind of victim or you aren't. That's on you. But you can do it. You've been reading carefully, right? It's all quite simple, really.

And if you can just follow all of these simple steps start-to-finish, without any slip ups, and you can definitively prove that you're the right kind of girl and the right kind of victim, then maybe the judge won't have to give you a big ol' lecture while he's reading the "not guilty" verdict.

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