Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Massachusetts government sparks outrage after tweeting "Sexual assault is always avoidable"

rexfeatures-3240854a.jpg
massgovtweet2.jpg

The director of the Massachusetts State Government website, Mass.gov, has issued an apology after the tweet, "sexual assault is always avoidable", was posted on the website's official Twitter account, @MassGov.

The original message, which was posted just as America's Sexual Assault Awareness month drew to a close, prompted an angry backlash on Twitter, with many accusing @MassGov for victim blaming and calling for the post to be deleted.

In response to the tweet, which has now been deleted, one woman wrote, "The only person to blame for rape is the rapist"'.

The director of Mass.gov, Geoff Kula, said in a statement on Thursday that there was "no malicious intent behind the tweet".

"The tweet inaccurately summarized the content in the linked-to blog post, which discussed services available for victims of sexual assault," continued Kula. "The tweet author agrees that perpetrators of sexual assault are always at fault, and it was never the author’s intent to blame victims for crimes perpetrated."

Kula also issued a statement across a series of tweets:

In his statement, Kula added, "There is an editorial gatekeeper who reviews all social media content to ensure consistency in messaging, including appropriateness, tone and voice. In this instance, the author of the sexual assault awareness tweet did not send this tweet to the editorial gatekeeper for review, and instead scheduled the tweet independently."

Kula concluded by saying, "The author has agreed to participate in sexual assault awareness training".

The Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, said "It was a stupid mistake," to American TV channel FOX 25. "Sometimes stupid mistakes happen and I appreciate very much the head of Mass.gov taking responsibility for it, and issuing an apology and I apologize as well."

(Additional image: Rex Features)

Related

daniel-craig.jpg

New anti-rape campaign by Hollywood stars

rexfeatures-3413235a.jpg

Malala Yousafzai on abducted Nigerian school girls: "If we forget these girls, it's like we are forgetting our own sisters"

outnumbered-615x330.jpg

Outnumbered star Tyger Drew-Honey: "Porn can ruin lives"

a-lister-instagram-pics.jpg

Kim Kardashian meets Anna Wintour and Cara Delevingne gets crafty in the A-list pics of the week

hero.jpg

Wisdom we would share with our 20-year-old selves

hero.jpg

What life as a flight attendant is REALLY like: Instagram feed reveals our dirty flying habits

Comments

More

US school girl campaigned against her school's tank top ban and won

She arrived at school with the words #IAmNotADistraction on her arm.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Science has revealed why your Tinder first date is always rubbish

Getting past swiping right can be hard enough

by Jasmine Andersson
21 Apr 2017

This campaign is changing the way images of women are used in media

And it's already had a huge impact.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Rashida Jones "lifts the veil" on porn industry in new Netflix series

Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is out today

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Giraffes to be listed as endangered in bid to prevent “silent extinct”

Environmentalists say we are at risk of the “silent extinction” of the world’s tallest land animal

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Why introverts are more likely to excel in their chosen career path

All hail the quietly powerful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Apr 2017

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere

Their story has touched the hearts of social media users

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Apr 2017

Why everyone is talking about Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

From alternate endings to that potential second series

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Apr 2017

This is why your cat won’t stop lying on your things

Nope, they’re not just being irritating on purpose.

by Hayley Spencer
20 Apr 2017

New video for Repeal the 8th campaign makes its point beautifully

The battle for reproductive rights in Ireland will reach fever pitch this weekend

by Elle Griffiths
20 Apr 2017