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Mass.Gov Apologizes For Controversial Sexual Assault Tweet

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BOSTON (CBS) – A state official apologized Thursday for a controversial tweet on the Mass.gov account, nearly 12 hours after the tweet was posted.

The message on Mass.gov was published at 10:17 p.m. Wednesday, saying “Sexual assault is always avoidable.”

It also included a link to a blog post on April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The tweet was removed shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, about 11 hours later.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Mass.Gov Apologizes For Controversial Sexual Assault Tweet

tweet Mass.Gov Apologizes For Controversial Sexual Assault Tweet
WBZ NewsRadio 1030

This apology was posted by Geoff Kula, Director of Mass.gov, around 10 a.m:

I deeply regret the message sent last night regarding sexual assault and apologize to all sexual assault victims.

We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them.

To learn more about what you can do to combat violence or if you need assistance, please see this blog.

Around noon-time, Kula wrote a longer explanation on the state’s official blog.

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 tweet generated a series of complaints on Twitter overnight.

Six more tweets were posted on the @MassGov account throughout the night into Thursday morning, but none responded to the complaints because they were apparently scheduled to automatically publish at pre-set times.

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