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Don't blame victims. Blame the attackers

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-12 15:05

A vicious attack happened in Tangshan city, North China's Hebei province, at 2:10 am on Friday. According to a widely shared video clip, a man touched the back of a young woman who was dining in a barbecue restaurant and then punched her in the face when she stood up and spoke to him.

Another video clip showed the men and his fellows dragged the woman out of the restaurant and surrounded her, kicking her and beating her with beer bottles. Two women who were with the victim were also beaten by the men.

The local police launched an investigation into the assault. On Saturday, nine suspects had been detained, of which four were caught in Jiangsu province, about 1,000 kilometers away.

Most people and media have condemned attackers. However, some familiar "rational" voices have blamed the victims, asking why three young women were dining in a barbecue restaurant after midnight. Some even claimed that the woman who stood up to remonstrate with the man who touched her might have "irritated" him. Some even called the attack "a fight between street rogues" because one of the three victims held a beer bottle trying to defend herself and her friend.

There are always some who try to pin the blame on victims when they are assaulted. In this case their sententious conclusion is that "Both sides have faults".

But those blaming the victims and picking "faults" with them are actually defending the attackers, and their "rational" words will only encourage more violence.

It is the men who attacked the women who should stand trial, and be blamed by the whole society. It is the attackers that should be put in the spotlight so that people will discuss why they carried so out such a violent assault on the women and what can be done to prevent women being assaulted.

Anybody has the right to dine in any restaurant they want at any open time. Anybody has the right to scold anybody who sexually harasses them and to defend themselves when attacked. It is the attackers that should be blamed, not the victims.

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