The director of the Massachusetts state website, Mass.gov, apologized Thursday for an ignorant tweet during Sexual Assault Awareness Month that sparked outrage.
“Sexual assault is always avoidable,” tweeted @MassGov Wednesday night.
It was deleted nearly 12 hours later after garnering a great deal of criticism online.
"What a shameful, insulting statement from our gvt," read one reply.
Gov. Deval Patrick called the tweet “stupid.”
Geoff Kula, director of the mass.gov site, apologized for the message on Thursday, promising that the social media writer who authored the tweet will attend sexual assault awareness training.
“I deeply regret the message sent last night regarding sexual assault and apologize to all sexual assault victims,” Kula tweeted. “We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them.”
“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,” Kula said in a statement. “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," Kula said. "The author has agreed to participate in sexual assault awareness training."