CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault.

Queensland Police has apologised for a poorly-phrased Facebook post after people online pointed out the problematic language it used.

“The Queensland Police Service (QPS) acknowledges using inappropriate wording, namely ‘unprovoked’, in a post concerning a sexual assault at Ipswich,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“An earlier version included the phrase ‘unprovoked’ sexual assault while trying to describe it as a random incident.

“The post was deleted and a new post created once it was identified that the word was inappropriately used.

“The QPS apologises for any inference that a victim could provoke a sexual assault in any circumstances”.

Queensland Police refers to a sexual assault as "unprovoked".
A screenshot of Queensland Police’s post. Source: Facebook

ICYMI, police media released CCTV footage of a man wanted for sexually assaulting a woman while she was walking along a footpath. In a screenshot doing the rounds on Facebook, Queensland police referred to the random attack as an “unprovoked sexual assault”.

The use of this word was pretty fucked since it implied sexual assault could be provoked — which sounds a lot like victim-blaming.

“Can QPS tell me what provoked sexual assault is?” one commenter wrote online.

“Are you saying other sexual assaults occur due to the victims ‘provoking’ sexual violence???” said another.

“I’m disgusted they even had that headline in the first place,” wrote a third.

Queensland Police Facebook post
That’s fkn right, you better delete that phrase from your post.

The post was deleted and reposted without acknowledgement of the word — but at least now we have an apology. Given the misogyny this institution has been embroiled in recently, let’s hope this was just a genuine mix up of words.

Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.