A Virginia State Senator is receiving backlash for comments she made online this week.
11th district Senator Amanda Chase, in a heated exchange over gun rights, responded to a Facebook user saying, “it’s those who are naive and unprepared that end up raped.”
Chase tells our sister station WRIC her words are being taken out of context and that she has no way to tell if what she calls “trolls” on her Facebook page are even her constituents.
The original post was made online Tuesday. That’s when Chase shared an article about Richmond’s new ordinance banning guns in public parks and buildings.
She tells WRIC what started as a conversation about “restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners” has now left her “victimized” by online bullies.
In the lengthy exchange with multiple facebook users, Chase at one point replied with:
“It’s those who are naive and unprepared that end up raped. sorry. but I’m not going to be a statistic.”
Now, some critics are calling the comment “victim-blaming.”
By phone Friday, Chase said this one, “does not represent the entire conversation.”
Days later, aiming to explain her side of the story, the politician posted a video online saying her right to concealed carry is what gives her a sense of security in public.
“Be vigilant, alert, and prepared,” Chase said in the video. “Therefore I encourage woman to exercise their second amendment right.”
Chase’s opponent in the race for Virginia’s 11th district is also reacting to the social media controversy.
Democrat Amanda Pohl is calling for an apology.
“I urge Senator Amanda Chase to apologize for her statements and any implication that rape is caused by anything other than rapists,” Pohl said in a post online.
“Survivors are not ‘naïve and unprepared’ because they were raped.”
As a public figure, Chase is not allowed to delete the comment from her public page.
But she tells WRIC she’s sorry for what victims of sexual assault have gone through.
Virginia’s 11th district covers parts of Chesterfield County, all of Amelia County, and Colonial Heights.