The police of Armenia have this week published an article on their official website in which they offer a number of victim-blaming tips on how women in Armenia can avoid sexual assault and harassment.
Among the advice published are tips to avoid traveling alone at night and not to dress ‘provocatively’.
The article focuses largely on what women can do to avoid being sexually assaulted and does not focus on the role of the attacker or abuser. This emphasis on telling victims to avoid assault has ignored the social factors that are involved with sexual abuse and treats it as an inevitability. The advice has angered some Armenians, who see it as an attempt to blame the victims of sexual abuse rather than tackle the actual abusers and attackers.
Sexual assault and harassment is a problem faced by some women in Armenia, but one that many claim can only be tackled by dealing with the attackers and assaulters, and not the victims themselves.
Although some Armenians have viewed the police’s advice as practical and innocent some see it as an indicator for a much larger problem of sexism and double-standards within the police force.