At a press conference on Sunday, Indian tourism minister Mahesh Sharma said that in order to stay safe, female visitors to the country should avoid wearing skirts or going out alone at night.
He was being asked about security concerns in Agra, where the Taj Mahal is. Over the weekend, a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped from the streets of the city and raped—making her the 33rd minor to become the victim of a violent sexual assualt in India over the last five months.
Critics were quick to express outrage over Sharma's comments, saying that they place responsibility for the crimes on the victims instead of the perpetrators.
The problem of sexual assault in India has drawn global attention since 2012, when a woman was gang raped and killed in Delhi.
Tourism to India dropped 25% in the year following that assault.