The scene is a familiar one — too familiar. A police officer is quizzing a woman who has just been assaulted on the details of the incident. It sounds as if he's looking for an opportunity to discredit her story. And then he asks the question that far too many survivors hear in the immediate aftermath — "What were you wearing?" It's a question that implies doubt, that suggests that she might have provoked her own assault.
But, this time, the woman across from him is dressed in a chicken suit.
Entitled "Asking For It," the satirical PYPO Network video depicts a male law enforcement professional attempting to place blame on a survivor for her own sexual assault, instead of pursuing the perpetrator. He questions whether the rape actually occurred, asks if she was drinking at all, and even has the nerve to ask the survivor, "Did you say no with your body?"
Poignantly, the woman in the video is dressed head-to-toe in a fluffy yellow chicken suit. His unmerited concern about whether she was dressed too "provocatively" is brought to its logical extreme. No, her clothes were not too figure-hugging. No, neither were any other survivor's.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. Yet it seems that society still often holds the victims responsible. The video calls to light a real-life phenomenon: people focusing on a survivor's clothing or alcohol consumption rather than turning their attention to the person actually at fault. There have actually been advertising campaigns that suggest victims' alcohol consumption caused their sexual assault.
Victim-blaming establishes a vicious cycle in which victims are afraid to report their assaults. This institutionalized blaming can allow serial abusers and rapists to walk free and make it possible for them to commit further crimes.
That's why PYPO teamed up with It's On Us, the White House's initiative to end campus sexual assault, to produce this important video. PYPO is raising funds for It's On Us by selling products depicting the woman in the chicken suit.