TIME States

Mass.gov Apologizes for Tweeting ‘Sexual Assault Is Always Avoidable’

The tweet, which came at the end of Sexual Assault Awareness month, said that "sexual assault is always avoidable." Many accused @MassGov of victim blaming, but a state government official said there was "no malicious intent behind the tweet"

Massachusetts officials apologized Thursday for an offensive tweet about sexual assault sent from the government Twitter account.

“Sexual assault is always avoidable,” the Wednesday night tweet from @MassGov read, according to ABC. Many accused @MassGov of victim blaming. “The only person to blame for rape is the rapist,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

The tweet was later deleted.

On Thursday, the twitter account posted a series of tweets apologizing:

The Mass.gov director Geoffrey Kula issued a statement Thursday explaining how exactly the tweet went out and what action would be taken against the tweeter:

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. Having spoken with the author this morning, it is clear 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. 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. The author has agreed to participate in sexual assault awareness training.

The incident comes at the end of Sexual Assault Awareness month and just when the Obama administration is doubling down on efforts to prevent sexual assault on campus. Today, the Department of Education released the names of 55 colleges facing Title IX sexual assault investigations.

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