A highly controversial tweet containing the phrase "sexual assault is always avoidable" was released on Massachusetts' official Twitter account just after 10 p.m. Wednesday night.
The executive director of Mass.gov said the tweet was an accident and was not intended to be malicious. It included a link to a blog post on April being sexual assault awareness month.
The tweet was taken down around 9 a.m. Thursday, 11 hours too late, but not before it generated a series of complaints on Twitter overnight. Some described the comment as ignorant and insensitive.
Executive Director of Mass.gov Geoff Kula apologized publicly Thursday morning.
"I deeply regret the message sent last night regarding sexual assault and apologize to all sexual assault victims," Kula wrote in a tweet. "We in no way meant to suggest that victims of sexual assault are to blame for the crimes committed against them."
Gov. Deval Patrick expressed his opinion of the tweet in an interview with CBS 3 Thursday morning.
"It was a stupid mistake and sometimes stupid mistakes happen. I appreciate very much the head of Mass.gov taking responsibility for it and issuing an apology. I apologize as well."
Toni Troop of Jane Doe Incorporated said while she sees the mistake in the tweet, the discussion is healthy.
"The only damage would be if we didn't talk about it," Troop said.
Around 12 p.m. Thursday, Kula wrote a longer explanation on the state's official blog. He said the tweet was never sent for review and that the author was spoken to this morning. No malicious intent was meant behind the tweet.
The author has agreed to participate in sexual assault awareness training.
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