A Catholic nun has joined calls for change of attitudes toward sexual assaults on women in the Philippines.
Benedictine Sister Mary John Mananzan challenged the view that female rape victims are responsible for being assaulted.
“Don’t blame the victim,” said the nun in a statement after a police station in Lucban town in Quezon province told women not to wear skimpy clothes to avoid sexual harassment.
“The blame is totally on the rapist, the predator,” said Sister Mary John.
National police chief Archie Gamboa has ordered an investigation into the “victim-blaming” post on social media of the Lucban police office.
“The police chief … and all personnel who may be involved will be made to explain why they allowed posting of such statements in their social media account that elicited negative reactions from the public for implied victim blaming,” read a police statement.
“They will be made to justify also why no administrative sanctions shall be imposed upon them for their actions despite earlier instructions to take down posts with similar content,” it added.
Gamboa said those involved may face administrative and even criminal charges, “if evidence warrants.”
In a social media post on June 11, the Lucban Municipal Police Station posted: “You gherlsz, don’t wear skimpy clothes because if you were harassed, you would be seeking our assistance. Think about it!”
The post did not sit well with netizens who interpreted the posts as an insinuation that they are being harassed because of the way they dress.