Excerpt: Megan Blomquist, Director of Education and Training at Rape Victim Advocates in Chicago, said it is important to hold offenders accountable for their crimes.

“We need to take it seriously, not minimize the situation,” she said. “[Holding offenders accountable] can keep more incidents from happening. Once a sexual assault happened but it doesn’t go through the legal system, [allowing for] no repercussions, or the community doesn’t take it seriously—it becomes more allowable.”

Blomquist said assault victims do not control the circumstances of their attack, so what they are wearing at the time of the incident is irrelevant.

“Thinking about what people could’ve, would’ve or should’ve done differently is a very natural response to incidents of violence and incidents that are outside of our control,” Blomquist said. “As humans, we want to control the situation and feel like there is something we could’ve done to prevent it or stop it.

Read the full article at www.columbiachronicle.com/metro/article_9e0f5ed6-aaf2-11e7-ac9d-fbd72ec3a755.html.