NSW Police are being condemned for publishing a Beyonce-inspired sexual assault warning to women who meet up with strangers through dating apps.
Critics are demanding the Facebook post be deleted as they say it encourages victim-blaming in sexual assault cases and fails to promote change among men.
The post rewrites lyrics to the tune of Beyonce’s Single Ladies and tells women they need to take safety precautions when going out.
The post received mixed responses but overwhelmingly people were critical of the approach, calling it condescending and “tone deaf”.
“Read the room, NSW police. Stop telling women to keep themselves safe and start writing ‘witty’ songs telling men to keep their hands to themselves,” Chantal Maryse commented.
“Because telling girls “to be safe” is such a successful way to avoid violence, right? If only someone had told that to Eurydice [Dixon] and she had followed that advice… Oh wait!” another wrote.
“How dare you appropriate Beyoncé in order to tell women to suck eggs,” Amy McKenzie said.
All the single ladies,(All the single ladies),Now put your hands up,Up on your phone, surfing apps alone,Doing your…
However, others are defending the police’s intentions, saying messages promoting safety and common-sense precautions are needed when meeting strangers off the internet.
“I perceive this as a simple take care and be aware message.. Sick and twisted people are always going to exist unfortunately, it never hurts to ‘cover your own back’ so to speak,” Jade Campbell wrote.
“People will complain about anything these days … even just being told to be careful,” Ryan Wornes said.
NSW Police declined to comment when asked whether the post would be removed.
The reactions follow a social media backlash to comments made by Victorian police after the murder of Eurydice Dixon in Melbourne in June.
In the days following the killing of the 22-year-old comedian, police urged people to “be aware of their surroundings”.
But those comments were deemed inappropriate by many who said women should not have to live in fear.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke out after the police warning and said it was men’s behaviour that needed addressing and women should live their lives on their terms.
“I for one, am a bit sick and tired of the focus that all too often is bought on the behaviour of the woman when it comes to an incident like this,” he said.
“This tragedy presents us with an important opportunity and an obligation to call out very bad behaviour which comes from, almost inevitably, bad attitudes.”