Rape charity slams high school for photoshopping students: ‘It encourages victim blaming’

A school has found itself under fire from rape charities after photoshopping its female students to make them look 'less sexy'

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by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Female students at an American high school have demanded to know why their yearbook photos were altered to show less skin without them knowing about it - and they've been backed by rape victim advocate, who has accused the school of encouraging 'victim blaming'.

"I say this all the time: short skirts, bare arms — they don’t cause rape"

At least two dozen girls had their photos altered. The students who spoke with FOX 13 News were not aware of any male students who had their photos altered.

Speaking on behalf of the school, Terry E. Schoemaker offered a semi-apology - but insisted that the school was acting in the best interest of the students:

"We only apologise in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we're trying to do in that sense we can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things."

However Rape Recovery Center Executive Director Holly Mullen has since called for an investigation into Wasatch High’s administration and sensitivity training over the situation, insisting that the behaviour reinforces a theme that women must be controlled and directed.

She said angrily: “Say that you don’t want lingerie showing, underwear showing, all those things. But a sleeveless shirt? Is that really immodest?

“Is that really going to send messages to others and be hard to control? It’s just a bit too much.

“I think the message is there that it’s women’s jobs to control the way they look, it’s males to look the way they want.

"I say this all the time: short skirts, bare arms — they don’t cause rape. Rapists cause rape. It’s a continuum and that’s where we end up when we take this to the extreme.”

Via YouTube

She added: “If people out there sat with clients who come to the Rape Recovery Centre for services, they would hear very often that this sort of message starts very early.

“They start saying things like, ‘If I hadn’t worn that dress. If I hadn’t had my bra strap showing, if I had looked different, he wouldn’t have done this to me.’ That’s not OK. That is not the kind of behaviour we want to be indicating to our children.”

Do you think the school were right to alter the photos? Or was it demeaning, unfair and controlling? Do you agree with the Rape Recovery Centre - will this encourage 'victim blaming' in rape cases? Why did the school not alter the photos of the boys as well?

Let us know via the Comments Box below now.

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