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September 20, 2017

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Taiwanese media is blaming victims for their own assault

At midnight on Feb. 9 in New Taipei City, a female nurse attended a karaoke party held by the clinic where she works. After the party, she was drunk and waiting for her colleagues in the karaoke's lobby, alone. Three men came into the lobby, saw her lying on the floor unconscious, picked her up and went to a nearby hotel.

The victim woke up in the elevator of the hotel and the three men gave up on their plan soon after she screamed and struggled to free herself from their grip.

The incident went viral on the Internet and local media, with many people calling this kind of incident "corpse-picking" — a term used to describe the act of people taking a drunk or unconscious woman to a hotel or home for sex without the victim's consent.

This is unfortunately not a one-time incident. A 32-year-old male suspect was indicted last December in Taipei over allegations of sexually assaulting numerous drunken and unconscious women. Police said the suspect waited outside of several bars in Taipei for women who were drunk, stalked the victims and allegedly sexually assaulted them while they were unconscious.

Many have said that "corpse-picking" happens too often, especially at night and around holidays. Some people think that "corpse-picking" is a side effect of nightlife culture and claimed that those perpetrators only see an "opportunity" because the drunken women "lure" them to commit crimes.

"Corpse-picking" is not a part of nightlife culture, it is a crime. The problem is not how much should women drink, it should be how to prevent such crimes and condemn the perpetrators.

In 2013, the Modern Women's Foundation (現代婦女基金會) handled 250 cases of sexual assault, 50 of them involving female victims who were drunk and/or lost consciousness, the foundation recently said in a press conference.

The foundation said such crime usually happens between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m., the perpetrator could be a stranger or an acquaintance of the victim, and some perpetrators would intentionally get their victims drunk while others choose their victims after discovering them lying drunk or unconscious on the street.

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