A prestigious fine arts college in China has sparked a public outcry after telling students that women get sexually assaulted when they are ‘beautiful and flirtatious’ in its textbook.
The claims were included in a ‘Freshman Safety Knowledge Handbook’ published by China Academy of Arts, the first arts university in Chinese history.
The safety guide angered hundreds of thousands of angered users who slammed the reputable Chinese college for suggesting women were responsible for sexual assault.
The incident has sparked a heated discussion online after pictures of the handbook have been widely shared on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo since Thursday.
A paragraph from the safety guide, titled ‘Causes of Sexual Assault’, said the primal reason is ‘the girl’s personal influences’.
‘[She] cares about maintaining physical appearances and blindly pursues materialistic pleasures,’ the handbook read.
‘[She] has beautiful looks and a flirtatious manner; has a timid nature and is unable to defend herself.’
The university also branded sexual assault victims as ‘introverted and weak-willed’ women who have ‘a poor sense of self-protection’.
Outraged social media users called for a formal apology from the fine arts college which told Chinese media that they were investigating the matter.
One commenter wrote: ‘Stop all the excuses, you need to come out and apologise.’
Another said: ‘Was this handbook written by rapists? Are you blaming the victims for sexual assault?’
The university has yet released any formal statements following the incident.
Earlier this month, another Chinese university’s guidelines warning women students not to wear ‘revealing’ clothes on campus ‘to prevent arousing temptation’ whipped up online fury in the socially conservative country.
‘Do not wear clothing and skirts that are overly revealing, low-cut, exposing your waist, or showing your back, so as to prevent arousing temptation,’ the advisory note for new female students read.
The recommendations were included in a 50-point safety guide issued by Guangxi University, which also urged women to avoid going out alone.
China has taken some steps towards key demands from its nascent #MeToo movement, with its first-ever civil code – passed in May – expanding the definition of sexual harassment.
But it remains difficult to get justice for many sexual assault crimes due to conservative attitudes and many women reluctant to come forward.
By EMILIA JIANG FOR MAILONLINE