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The Red Dress

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Did Felicity “ask for it” by dressing provocatively?

The Red Dress

In touring the live production of Far From The Heart, there never fails to be a lot of debate around what Felicity chooses to wear to the party – the red dress. Some people think it’s hardly revealing at all, some people think it’s far too mature for her age. Some people think that she is too dressed up for a high school party, some people think she could be even more dressed up. Some people think she’s sending the wrong signals, some people think she looks great but isn’t as confident as her dress suggests and that’s why she was hesitant about wearing it. And, always, some people wonder whether she might not have been sexually assaulted if she was wearing something, anything, other than that scandalous dress!

In other words, a lot of people think a lot of different things about what Felicity was wearing. What matters is how Felicity felt. What matters when you pick out your clothes is how you feel – do you feel confident? Do you feel fabulous? Do you feel shy? Do you feel adventurous? Do you feel sparkly? Do you feel casual? Do you feel like trying something new? And most importantly, do you feel comfortable?

So what are the statistics about provocative dress and rape? The reality is that research shows that most convicted rapists don’t remember what their victim was wearing. In fact, a Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part of the victim – in murder cases 22% involved such behavior (which could be as simple as a glance).

These numbers clearly show that what someone wears is not related to their chances of being raped. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted – dresses are rarely more revealing than a swimsuit, and everyone can agree that going to a swimming pool or the beach is not an invitation for sexual assault. Women do not “ask” to be raped by their clothing choices, and should never be considered an invitation for sexual assault – slutty or not.

Informative Articles

Resources for Youth

Need help right now?

  • Kids Help Phone: Toll-free, 24 hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counseling - 1-800-668-6868

  • Bro-Talk A support zone for teen guys with information about life, school, dating, sex, and mental health. They offer toll-free 24 hour phone counselling and chat counselling during specific hours.

  • Wes For Youth Online Counselling offers resource links and online counselling.

  • Love Is Respect: The American Dating Abuse Hotline has information about dating, abuse, sexting, safety planning, and more. Note: They only provide counselling for people within the United States.

  • Teen Power and Control Wheel is a tool that helps explain the different ways an abusive partner can use power and control to manipulate a relationship.


  • Teen Health Source is a resource by Planned Parenthood Toronto with information about sex, sexuality, gender identity, and relationships.

  • Scarleteen: Sex Education for the Real World has inclusive, comprehensive, supportive sexuality and relationships info for teens and emerging adults.

  • Rookie Magazine is an independently run online magazine featuring writing, photography, and other forms of artwork inspired by real life and made by and for teenagers.

  • Planned Parenthood Toronto offers resources about sex, sexuality, gender, and relationships.

  • Planned Parenthood Regina offers information about sexual health and dating rights.

  • Bro-talk is a service by Kids Help Phone specifically targeted to teen guys with information about mental health, sex, and relationships. It also offers phone and chat counselling services.

  • has resources to help teens identify and prevent digital dating abuse. Features videos, quizzes, FAQ's, and more

  • A Thin Line is an American resource with information about digital abuse.

  • Mind Your is an award-winning site for youth by youth. It is a place where you can get information, resources, and the tools to help you manage stress, crisis, and mental health problems. It features games, celebrity interviews, featured issues that are updated often, as well as a link where you can contribute personal stories.


Contact us to find out more about using this educational project to prevent youth dating violence and abuse and to share your thoughts and feedback.