To think this rape poster is giving out the wrong message?

(97 Posts)
slatternlymother Thu 04-Oct-12 17:51:57

I am in am the services. I was at the sickbay this morning, when I saw some of their new campaign posters on rape and violent crime.

The poster on rape says 'one third of rapes are alcohol related. Don't be a victim' with a photo underneath of a woman wearing a small vest top, lying on the floor, crying.

AIBU to think this gives out the message that if you drink, you're making yourself a victim? Surely a woman should be able to consume alcohol without fear of becoming a rape victim? Surely the message should be; 'Dont rape people'?

It's been on my mind all day. AIBU?

But it won't raise your risk factor of being raped significantly. Getting married will, going on dates will, being abused in the past will, being from certain racial groups will, being 16-19 years old will, being a woman will. Being drunk (or drinking at all, the poster doesn't specify) might make a difference to a tiny number of women who are targeted by a certain type of rapist. If that woman doesn't drink, he will find one who does. If all women don't drink, do you really think he will stop raping? Of course not.

This poster won't prevent any rapes. Even by your logic it will only prevent the rape of that person, not the next person along. I've worked with a number of convicted rapists and they will carry on raping until they are stopped. My drinking one less cocktail won't stop one rapist.

NimChimpsky Fri 05-Oct-12 09:19:30

So you accept that these posters have a valid point. Can I ask what the practical application of its advice is? Don't get very drunk? Don't get slightly drunk? Or is it don't make stupid decisions while drunk? What if you make stupid decisions anyway? Is the advice different for each woman or should we propose a limit? Shall we test reaction times to approaching rapists dependent upon amount of alcohol consumed and set a limit according to that? What if you're in a friend's house and you know and trust all the people there? It's your birthday perhaps and you want to enjoy a bottle of wine with friends. Your taxi home might break down, the taxi driver himself might be a rapist, you might find yourself drunk and outside or drunk and inside. So do women need to stay sober at all times so events don't conspire against us?

It is dangerous to start allowing mitigating factors into rape cases in such an endorsed way. Very recently a rape case was tried here. The rapist received a jail term. Good. But in his summing up, the judge mentioned a reduction in sentence because a bouncer had seen the victim earlier in the evening, talking to, smiling at and apparently flirting with the rapist. This was a very violent stranger rape. Only slightly her fault apparently but the belief is there. To the extent that the rapist is benefitting from the myth.

The thing is we should all take personal responsibility for well, personal behaviour. We owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves from the moment our bodies are our own responsibility. You could extend this to what we eat, the choices we make, the people we let into our lives, the way we treat other people, how we manage our lives and careers and belongings. But none of this ability to manage our own lives is anything to do with the choice to imbibe alcohol and an ill thought out poster isn't going to teach any of the above. It's about self respect and confidence and knowledge and the respect of those people around you. And the confidence in the world around you that should you be the victim, should you be attacked, you will be 100% supported in standing up and labeling the rapist as fully accountable.

Alcohol makes you vulnerable? Probably. In a lot of ways. Allowing posters to imply accountability? Pointless, dangerous, waste of time and money. Put the money into alcohol education instead, rather than reducing it down to such an unfair causal link.

Viviennemary Fri 05-Oct-12 09:32:24

Everyone must lead their lives the way they see fit. And teach their children what they feel is best for them. That's what my Mother did and that's what I did. You must do what you think is best for you and your children.

Pippa6774 Fri 05-Oct-12 09:46:28

When I was younger I went to a work weekend conference and was extremely drunk and flirting a lot with an older guy who was a director of another group company and very handsome.We went to a party after the bar closed in someones room and he said 'you can hardly walk I'll see you back to your room' and then he had sex with me . I said no i don't want to and tried to get up but was too drunk to think of calling out or fight him off better.I thought for years he wasn't really a rapist ,it was just an opportunistic thing and it wouldn't have happened though if I hadn't been so drunk and hadn't led him on.years later i found out that he had done it to other women .But were too embarassed to say anything because they were professionals and had been drunk
The worst thing was he later transferred to my company and was so horrible to me i had to leave.
So although I think although not being out of your tree might help prevent you being the victim (which i guess is important) , someone else will be sad

Pippa so sorry that happened to you. sad

I don't think that a victim's sobriety or inebriation should be any sort of a factor in their attacker's defence, but neither do I think it is a bad thing to take reasonable steps to ensure my own safety.

I would love to see more hard-hitting campaigns against alcohol misuse. Drinking too much can cause so many problems - getting into fights, swearing at policemen, driving under the influence (one of the reallybad decisions to make when someone's been drinking), having unprotected sex, doing many risky things.

Have a drink or two, enjoy yourself, but be safe.

Just to be clear, I do NOT believe that being under the influence makes any victim of attack responsible for their attack.

CelineMcBean Fri 05-Oct-12 14:54:11

I'm with you op. I always think these sorts of posters that blame victims could equally be worded with he's a rapist so he's going to do it any way so better some other poor girl than you because that's the implication if we take it that a rapist just cannot help himself and that how the victim behaves can influence a rapist.

Stupid poster.

PiggyBankMum Fri 05-Oct-12 14:58:26

So horrible, Pippa, I'm sorry.

Are you (MrsTP) saying that ALL self-defence tips offered to women, or measures taken by women, are idealogically incorrect?

I am (as I said before) a survivor of attempted rape. In a dark car park after an event. Total stranger. That I was clear headed and had quick physical responses made a huge difference. I am not claiming anything beyond what actually happened, and certainly not saying 'so therefore any other woman could escape as I did in any other circumstances'. I am NOT 'balming' woomen for choosing to enjoy getting drunk.

But it is part of my general 'be as safe as reasonably possible' strategies that I remain alert and clear headed.

I am also a survivor of rape in that someone I was in a relationship with wanted a child when I did not. I was an enthusiastic consenter to sex, I was not in consent of sex without contraception. He knew that. Legless on alcohol, cocaine and dope I thought he was using a condom, he was not. I became pregnant. I had an abortion. Was I responsible? No, I know he knew of my refusal to have unprotected sex. Was he responsible? Well, he was in much the same situation as I was. Can I claim that my dunk state removed all blame from me, while saying that his drunk state is immaterial?

OptimisticPessimist Fri 05-Oct-12 15:02:38

YANBU. As another poster says, even if women who read the poster did that and somehow avoided being raped (and there's telling they would avoid being raped, only that they wouldn't be drunk when it happened), the rapist would rape somebody else instead. The rape would not be prevented, only the victim would have changed.

Compare to this campaign from Vancouver which was aimed at men and resulted in a 10% drop in sexual assaults. There's a great campaign that's just been launched by Scottish police forces here too. This is where any form of poster campaign should be firmly positioned - towards men.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 05-Oct-12 15:03:36

"there's no telling" that should read...

PiggyBankMum Fri 05-Oct-12 15:37:53

Those are good poster campaigns, Optimist.

I'm not saying that women shouldn't try to protect themselves, from all crime. However, the idea that this poster will prevent rapes is ridiculous. Even if THIS woman doesn't get raped, another will. Rapes will still go on. Rapists won't stop because women stop drinking so what is the point of the poster? It seems to me that all it will do is make women feel responsible, not men and perpetrate the myth that rape is the fault of the woman. In fact, the poster minimises the rapists crime therefore actually makes rape MORE likely.

Viviennemary Fri 05-Oct-12 21:32:00

People have to do all they can to prevent themselves becoming a victim of crime. Old people for example are urged to be cautious when dealing with strangers on the doorstep wanting access to their house. Now if that old person is unsure and doesn't let the stranger in well he might well try again on another old person. But does that mean the person shouldn't be cautious. Of course not.

bellabreeze Sat 06-Oct-12 04:01:16

YANBU!!! This is definitely the wrong message to send and I do not know how people come up with some of these things... it really is putting the blame onto victims. The person that rapes or takes advantage is the one in the wrong, there are no excuses and that should be the message that is being given to people.

50smellsofshite Sat 06-Oct-12 09:17:47

optimist those are brilliant poster campaigns. As the mother of a teenage boy, I want him to see this message. Particularly seeing the rugby guy all dirty and masculine "I don't have sex with women when they are too drunk, do you?" I do recognise how much more important these adverts are.

Clever, feminist ladies do you think the reason I feel the "don't drink too much" campaign" geared towards women is important is because I do feel responsible for my attack, even if I feel that I don't.
I don't know what I'm saying. Seeing the men's campaign does make so much more sense. I feel so conflicted sad

LesleyPumpshaft Sat 06-Oct-12 09:21:09

Idk, getting absolutely shit-faced on booze isn't great. Men can end up getting into fights and other nasty scuffles.

OptimisticPessimist Sat 06-Oct-12 10:18:28

50smells, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I would hazard a guess that yes, campaigns such as this can and do lead to victims blaming themselves, but I don't know if there's any evidence to that effect.

I am also the mother of boys (and a daughter) and I too feel very strongly that they need to see campaigns like this and it's very important to me that I teach them about continuous and enthusiatic consent and about respecting your sexual partner.

I think anti-binge drinking campaigns (aimed at both sexes) do have their place, just not in anti-rape campaigns. Being drunk carries all sorts of dangers - you could fall into the road or a body of water, you could set fire to your house - all of which are accidents that could have been prevented. Rape is not an accident and cannot be prevented by a woman not drinking.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 06-Oct-12 11:03:49

Rape is not an accident and cannot be prevented by a woman not drinking

Yes to that

Absolutely, I agree with anti-binge drinking campaigns. Drinking to excess is bad for you and if a poster campaign can reduce this the benefits are obvious.

Agree that it does not have a place in anti-rape campaigning. Even from the other side. When I worked with ex-offenders we kept an eye on their drinking because people leading up to offences frequently started drinking more. The idea was that they wanted to minimise their guilt and could say 'I was drunk'. It didn't mean they didn't know what they were doing. It's an excuse, not a reason.

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 15:43:31

Worra 'I made the silly decision once to run across a busy high road to catch a bus and came within an inch of being run over by it. that analogy only works if the bus driver was trying to run you over - otherwise it would be an accident - rape isn't accidental

gordyslovesheep Sat 06-Oct-12 15:44:10

sorry - didn't read the whole thread <bad bad Gordy> - been done grin

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