We can educate people about morality, empathy and laws in order to reduce the number of rapists in the world, and we can also educate people to be more cautious when they are more vulnerable to being a victim of rape. These two positions are not mutually exclusive, and both approaches serve the same purpose of reducing violence. To suggest all safety advice is tantamount to "victim-blaming" is not just pointlessly cynical, but also a twist of logic that dissuades people from offering and listening to very basic, obvious, necessary advice. Please be aware that I mean "rape" and "violence" as strictly gender-neutral terms, so there is nothing sexist about this point. Everyone is (or at least should be) agreed that the rapist is solely responsible and accountable for the rape, but here is a personal example of why it is also important to give and to listen to good advice about how to avoid it (as if something so obvious should even need stating): I started going out clubbing and drinking heavily when I was 18. At this time I told my parents that I took shortcuts through alleyways on the way home, and my mother told me that I should really come home with other people in a taxi, but if I had no money to afford a taxi then I should stick to the main roads. I also had a friend who told me I should not listen to my MP3 player on the way home because I wouldn't be able to hear if anyone was sneaking up on me. I ignored this advice, and then one night about 5 years ago I was beaten up severely by two strangers in hoodies. At first I tried to fight back but every punch I threw missed, and when I finally screamed for help they knocked me unconscious and scarpered. One of my ribs was cracked, my teeth were damaged and I had to have the back of my head glued shut. I was extra vulnerable that night because a) I was by myself, b) I was out of plain sight, c) I had my MP3 player on so I wasn't fully aware of my surroundings, and d) I was very drunk. I was drunk enough to not even see or remember the faces of the people who beat me up clearly, which meant the two thugs were never caught and might have since hurt other people too. I'm also aware that this pointless act of violence could have also become rape. I do not blame myself for this happening. The blame is solely with the thugs because, as far as I'm aware, they were in charge of their own limbs. But I am also fully aware that I could have prevented the beating had I listened to my parents' and friends' advice. Basically, I was an idiot, and I'd be more of an idiot if I didn't think I could have prevented it. I know the advice sounds so obvious almost to the point of being patronising, but there is a reason it is obvious: thugs do exist, and so do rapists, and we are more likely to be victims if we make ourselves more vulnerable. This is why I will continue to say "be very careful, especially when you're drunk" and this is why I will not tolerate being accused of victim-blaming when actually I'm just preventing more violence. At the same time I will also do everything I can to enlighten people as to why beating up a stranger is so wicked, pointless and primitive in the hope it prevents people from straying down that path. But let's all also make sure the laws around violence and rape are reasonable and justified, and let's please make sure we do not shut down imperative discussions about rape and how to prevent it.