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University pulls tip sheet advising rape victims to vomit, urinate

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has removed a tip sheet for rape victims from its website, after it was thoroughly mocked on the Internet in part for suggesting women urinate or vomit to thwart an attack.

The tip sheet surfaced when Colorado Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar suggested that armed women might randomly start shooting people they believe might rape them, and argued that concerns for campus safety are “why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles.” (RELATED: Salazar apologizes for implying women can’t be trusted with guns)

“And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop — pop a round at somebody,” he said.

The university’s rape-prevention tips advised women to tell attackers that they’re menstruating or have a disease, and that “passive resistance might be your best defense.” One item seemed to blame the victim: “Understand that some actions on your part might lead to more harm.”

After the list was derided by everyone from talk show host Glenn Beck to a Cosmopolitan magazine blog, the list was pulled from the university’s website. A notice explains that the tip sheet was removed because it “was taken out of context on popular social media sites.”

The list was intended as supplemental material to women who have completed the university’s “Rape Aggression Defense course,” it said.

“This page is not related to the gun control discussions now taking place in the Colorado General Assembly,” the statement continues. “The 10 tips were considered last resort options when all other defense methods have been exhausted. … As a response to recent interest in the page, the Department of Public Safety has updated this page to provide additional context and information about crime prevention and the opportunity to enroll in the RAD class.

“We apologize for the miscommunication and any confusion that this page may have caused.”

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