Be merciful until you can’t be.
Until you feel your heart begin to harden
into a bullet.
Then use that bullet.
If owning a gun and knowing how to use it worked, the military would be the safest place for a woman. It’s not.
If women covering up their bodies worked, Afghanistan would have a lower rate of sexual assault than Polynesia. It doesn’t.
If not drinking alcohol worked, children would not be raped. They are.
If your advice to a woman to avoid rape is to be the most modestly dressed, soberest and first to go home, you may as well add “so the rapist will choose someone else”.
If your response to hearing a woman has been raped is “she didn’t have to go to that bar/nightclub/party” you are saying that you want bars, nightclubs and parties to have no women in them. Unless you want the women to show up, but wear kaftans and drink orange juice. Good luck selling either of those options to your friends.
Or you could just be honest and say that you don’t want less rape, you want (even) less prosecution of rapists.
believing in yourself is not a luxury. it is where the wildness enters your genius. it is wanton survival and burning indifference to what and who you are not supposed to be. it is the deepest revolution possible, the arc and heft of the universe in one strategic thought; vital to the weight and will of your whole health. without your belief, you are a wilting born, a folding off into the corner of a sky hot with loss.