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?

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 17:53:19

I thought they did away with those posters after the outcry?

slatternlymother Thu 04-Oct-12 17:54:49

This is the services, so possibly a bit behind the times. I didn't know whether I was being silly for thinking like this, or if I should speak to the warrant officer in charge and ask him to take them down?

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 17:55:00

And I think it gives out the message that if you get drunk, you often make silly decisions you wouldn't have made when sober.

That's not to say anyone but the rapist is to blame for the rape...but I think it can be a timely reminder for people to drink within their limits.

GhouliaYelps Thu 04-Oct-12 17:56:31

You are in no way being silly in your response. That poster is perpetuating a horrible myth and victim-blaming.

Well, I do believe that drinking to excess can put one at greater risk of being the victim of crime, no matter what your gender, and I also believe that people do have to take reasonable steps to ensure their own safety, BUT I also believe that the only person responsible for a rape, is the rapist.

WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 17:58:01

Precisely SDTG

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 17:59:01

I agree with you OP. It's entirely putting the blame on the victim's shoulders.

I've been raped sober and raped while drunk. I don't think my sobriety had much of an impact on the rapists tbh - they didn't really care either way.

And worra - what do you mean by 'silly decisions'? The 'silly decision' to be in the same place as a rapist?

WanderingWhistle Thu 04-Oct-12 18:00:06

I was attacked while drunk years ago. I do wider if I wasn't nearly in a coma wold it e different. I'll never know!

susiedaisy Thu 04-Oct-12 18:00:51

Wasn't there another poster aimed at boys/men that came out at the same time, I can't quite remember but I thought there was!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 04-Oct-12 18:01:41
WorraLiberty Thu 04-Oct-12 18:08:45

And worra - what do you mean by 'silly decisions'? The 'silly decision' to be in the same place as a rapist?


I think it's quite clear what I meant by my post.

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.

People make decisions when drunk and often wake up the next morning worried about how silly they were and how lucky they were that those decisions didn't result in something horrible happening to them....whether that's getting run over, getting raped/getting beaten up/getting mugged etc....

The perpetrator of the crime is always to blame and not the victim - however victims will often regret the alcohol fuelled decisions they made, leading up to the crime.

This poster is a badly worded reminder of that.

Celticlassie Thu 04-Oct-12 18:13:15

I thought these 'this is not an invitation' posters were excellent, oldlady, especially the beautiful wedding photo one. Very hard hitting and give completely the right message - the victim is NEVER to blame.

Melpomene Thu 04-Oct-12 18:14:51

I wonder what that statistic 'one third of rapes are alcohol related' means, anyway? Do they keep records of the victims' blood alcohol levels?

SoleSource Thu 04-Oct-12 18:16:23

I agree with Worra.

slatternlymother Thu 04-Oct-12 18:44:51

I just felt it was poorly worded. Like somehow, if you drink it's kind of your fault if you get raped because you put yourself in that situation.

Should I ask them to take the posters down, in favour of the linked ones above?

I think the two worrying things it suggests are that women are responsible for rape and that rape is about poor decision making and drink and where you are and what you wear.

Rape is a violent crime. I personally haven't seen any posters blaming stabbings/muggings on the victims blood alcohol level.

Acumens100 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:22

What I find so weirdly unspoken about those kinds of messages is that it doesn't stop rape. It might stop rape happening to you, but it's not going to stop the rapist raping. It's rape deflection, not . It's still gonna happen, but just to some other poor sod. And with a side helping of implying it's their fault.

I don't really see how this is a general social improvement. It's just redistributing the horror, not really dealing with it at all.

Acumens100 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:47

*not prevention

That is another point I wanted to make, Acumens100 thanks for making it. If we really wanted women to stop getting raped by these helpful 'suggestions' a more useful one would be; never have a relationship or get married.

Grumpla Thu 04-Oct-12 19:02:15

Rape is caused by rapists. Not booze, not clothes, not "asking for it". Rapists. EVERY TIME.
I would definitely ask them to take the poster down.

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:02:58

What Worra and STDG said

The posters are badly worded and the only person who ever has any responsibilty for a rape is the rapist

Being drunk does put your more at risk of many things like getting run over, falling over, choking on your own vomit etc, but a message on drinking responsibly should not be mixed up with a rape message - 2 separate issues and when combined seems victim blamey

Why can't they have drunk and stupid prevention posters then? Because it always seems to come up in relation to rape, not falling down, not being run over, not being stabbed or shot.

I think this stuff all gets muddled up. I might regret getting drunk and shagging someone if I fumbled the condom or shagged someone I wouldn't normally have. That is so far removed from rape as to be unrelated. I met my DH in a bar, we both drank. Luckily he was a lovely man and not a rapist. Should I have been thinking about that? Not unless I think about it every time I talk to any man.

And, i don't mean to sound flippant, just trying to follow the logic... if 1/3 of rapes are alcohol related (on the part of the victim, not specified?) and 2/3 are not, surely being drunk prevents you from being raped. That's plainly bollocks so why even mention drinking? 3/3 rapes are rapist related.

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 19:20:28

The onus should only be on men not raping, instead of women modifying their behaviour. Everyone should have the right to have a good night out and get a bit pissed without being raped. The arse-witted poster makes me feel quite angry.

Are there plans for a poster campaign to stop women from dancing, laughing and getting dressed up for the night too?

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:21:47

There was a drunk and stupid tv campaign a while ago - with that guy climbing a building to get a girls balloon as they drink made him feel like a super hero

slatternlymother Thu 04-Oct-12 19:23:03

mrsterrypratchett that's it; it doesn't say whether the alcohol is the victim's or the rapist's; but it suggests it is the victim's.

It seems muddled somehow, but I just asked DH what he thought and he said he thought it was awful too.

slatternlymother Thu 04-Oct-12 19:23:50

lesley yes; you put it far better than I did!

MrsWolowitz Thu 04-Oct-12 19:25:30

I agree with Worra

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:25:55

It's very muddled. Very badly written.

Maybe it should say "1/3 of rapes are alcohol related. Don't be a rapist".

But even then the mentioning the alcohol is wrong as you are either less likely to get raped if you are drunk or less likely to rape someone if you are drunk by this rationale.

It's wrong on pretty much every level

Viviennemary Thu 04-Oct-12 19:28:04

I think the poster is trying to say that alcohol may make you do things that you regret later. Or behave in a certain way you may not have behaved when sober. I can't see anything wrong with that. It is simply a fact that alcohol does have this affect.

LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 19:28:09

There was a drunk and stupid tv campaign a while ago - with that guy climbing a building to get a girls balloon as they drink made him feel like a super hero

I let someone push me down a hill in a shopping trolley once, does that count?

slatternlymother The message is repugnant imo. All campaigns need to be aimed at men saying that no definitely means no.

I hate to break it to these poster designer but in countries where women wear burqas and never drink, rape still happens. Because there are still rapists there. I think I am right in this stat, correct me if not, over half of DV incidents are alcohol related. I can't imagine a poster with a woman with a beaten face and 'over half of domestic violence incidents are alcohol related. Don't be a victim'.

I think the poster is trying to say that alcohol may make you do things that you regret later. Like get raped?

Or behave in a certain way you may not have behaved when sober. Like be raped?

I can't see anything wrong with that. Except when a woman sees this poster who was raped when she had been drinking and blames herself.

It is simply a fact that alcohol does have this affect. It doesn't. Meeting a rapist does.

I'm not trying to pick on you Vivienne but these rape myths are very damaging.

50smellsofshite Thu 04-Oct-12 19:32:16

Of course rapists are responsible for rapes but I want my friends, my family, my daughters and myself to know how to reduce the risk of being raped.

No-one will ever persuade me that the risk of being raped is the same if you drink sensibly versus being so drunk you are lying in the gutter with your skirt up over your knickers.

Electrical equipment shouldnt explode/start fires. When you go on holiday you switch off appliances at the wall to reduce the risk of a fire. You don't say "I'm not turning things off as that is changing my behaviour - it is the manufacturers responsibility 100%". I don't want my bloody house to burn down.

It's not that black and white.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 04-Oct-12 19:38:29

But 50, if one third of rapes involve a drunk woman, it is clear that the other two thirds of rapists are after a sober woman, so you would be better off staying drunk .

I think that poster is awful and victim blaming.

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 19:39:37

If 2/3 of rapes are not alcohol-related, surely that's saying that if you're pissed, you're less likely to be raped?

Or is it the rapist's level of alcohol we're supposed to be worried about?

These kind of rape campaigns do 2 things:

1. They lure women into false senses of security. That if they don't drink, wear sensible clothing, are always on their guard, never do anything 'silly', they won't be raped. And that's completely bollocks. It's as much use as not stepping on the cracks in the pavements to avoid bears.

If you don't want to meet bears, avoid places with bears. If you don't want to be raped, avoid men. Oh that's right, that's not really possible is it? So not remotely helpful as 'advice'.

2. They compound the guilt that rape victims feel because of the all-pervasive message that if you're raped, it must somehow be your fault. Which is also related to 1. above.

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:40:02

The poster manages to both encourage drunkeness as a safety measure and blame women for rape.

That's some going...........

Poster says, alcohol related. Not so drunk you are in a gutter with your knickers showing. I would educate my daughter not to drink to excess because... it's unhealthy, it's stupid and expensive, it is a factor in a lot of pedestrian accidents (more liking to be killed drink walking than drink driving per mile), because it is dangerous (just look at A and E). I will not give her the impression that it will protect her from rape to stay sober, because it won't.

SoleSource Thu 04-Oct-12 19:40:59

Being drunk can give a person a sense of heightened confidence. For examoke, walking through a park as a short cut, the person might never do this sober.

SoleSource Thu 04-Oct-12 19:42:33

Nobody deserves to be raped.

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 19:42:59

Some of you are promulgating Rape Myths which is something that MN have tried very hard to bust.

I'm sad that you still buy into them.

Teapot13 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:43:30

How do you feel about signs in Central London that say "Keep hold of your valuables -- pickpockets operate in this area" ?

The thefts are still caused by the pickpockets, but by reminding people to be vigilant we can avoid some of the incidents. I'm having a hard time distinguishing the two situations.

Viviennemary Thu 04-Oct-12 19:46:45

Of course everybody should be safe. But we have to deal with the world as it is now. I tried to give my views before on this and was shouted down. So there's just no point. I don't think it's the victim's fault.

I think we have grown past stranger danger for kids. Because we know that they are more likely to be abused by someone they know. So, we try to instill values about appropriate touching, body awareness, not keeping secrets. We hope this will help a small amount. It will also help them feel that their body belongs to them which is a great value.

Why can't we see the same with women and rape? Teach everyone consent is consent and nothing else is, both boys and girls. That if there is not consent it is rape. Teach everyone that a person in a relationship still has all their own rights and the partner owns none of them. Teach men to respect women and their right to drink, dress how they like, make decisions about their own bodies.

This poster, however well meant, could give a man the impression that a drunk woman is asking for it. Since we know this attitude is rife, why encourage it. Ched has been taught, maybe we need to start on the other rapists.

Viviennemary Thu 04-Oct-12 19:52:05

I wasn't going to post again. But if anybody thinks that putting up a load of posters aimed at men saying 'no means no' will put off a determined rapist. I'm afraid I don't think it will.

Neither will sober, nicely dressed women, Vivienne.

Teapot people generally don't get pick-pocketed in their own homes, by their partners, friends, dates, BFs, family members. That is why it is appropriate to tell people if they are in an area where it happens. Also, people who have been a victim of that crime tend not to get PTSD, anxiety, depression, blame themselves, take years to recover, change their relationships and all the other effects of rape. So, I don't think victim blaming is an issue there.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Thu 04-Oct-12 19:57:11

I agree with Worra.

PiggyBankMum Thu 04-Oct-12 20:00:51

How do you feel about the TV ads warning women not to take unlicensed mini-cabs?

I like to be streetwise. I am out alone late at night a lot in a gritty part of London. Mugging is more likely (statistically)than rape. I always wear shoes I could run in, I always walk close to the gutter edge of the pavement, sometimes even in the road if it is very deserted, I carry my keys in my hand, I never ever walk home alone insensible though drink or anything else.

I am 100% sure that rape is never a woman's fault, and only a rapists fault. My precaustions don't dilute the blame or the responsibility of a would be perpertrator. But if a perpertrator is out there I want to increase my chances of not being a victim while the main message is getting through.

'a message on drinking responsibly should not be mixed up with a rape message - 2 separate issues'


LesleyPumpshaft Thu 04-Oct-12 20:04:27

Yes, sadly you're most likely to get raped by someone you know, not a random stranger that you meet on a night out.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 04-Oct-12 20:10:34

Piggy - re unlicenced minicabs. One of the most prolific convicted rapists of recent years was a licenced black cab driver.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Oct-12 20:14:54

being drunk lowers your inhibitions and makes you more likely to put yourself into a situation without assessing the risks.. it also makes your reactions slower, and whilst only a rapist will rape, rapists are opportunists who will pick on the weakest targets... make yourself a weaker target, and you are making yourself more vulnerable if you are on your own.

PiggyBankMum Thu 04-Oct-12 20:18:34

True. (re black cab driver rapist).

But NO WAY will I get in a 'gypsy cab', for all sorts of reasons - might not have a driving license let alone insurance, might be drunk...or a rapist. But should I just think 'if he is a rapist it's his fault, not mine, I should have the freedom to be able to jump into an unknown unregulated man's car at night and be safe, so I'm going to take it'?

PiggyBankMum Thu 04-Oct-12 20:20:07

OR - how can we promote self protection, whilst NOT implying that any crime is the victims fault in any way?

piggybank We can't. That's why it is so very frightening. Because even being a sober, karate black-belt dressed in scruffy jeans and no make-up is not any protection from rape.

It is lovely to believe that following all 'the rules' gives cast-iron protection against rape. It doesn't. So the most powerful thing to do is to believe women who report rape.

chibi Thu 04-Oct-12 20:36:42

i have a modest proposal.

we could arm all women at birth with tasers. they don't have to be set to a lethal frequency grin

we could hamper men's ability to move freely, never let them out unescorted, and put them under curfew.

then if any man wanders out in defiance, they are liable to be tasered, if they hqve the bad luck to encounter a jumpy and armed woman. it wouldn't be their fault, really, well maybe a bit and it would be regrettable but to be fair they were warned

i think this sounds tremendously fair

chibi Thu 04-Oct-12 20:37:59

oh and sensible men would understand that the restrictions were there for their protection

joben Thu 04-Oct-12 20:45:20

I agree that the onus should of course be on the rapist, but also think women need to limit risks, in the same way there are numerous adverts reminding us to lock our houses to avoid being burgled, avoid alerting robbers to satnavs/laptops in cars, being cautious when using our mobile phones/ipads in public. No-one gets up in arms that the onus of these ads should be on the robber/mugger. There are plenty of shit twatty men who will exploit vulnerable (e.g. drunk women). It's their crime not ours-but we need to be realistic about taking responsibility for our own safety.

joben Thu 04-Oct-12 20:47:18

I bet all of you who are saying women should be able to wear what they like and drink as much as they like still lock their houses/cars at night to avoid getting robbed.

catgirl1976 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:48:22

I don't. I forget all the time.

chibi Thu 04-Oct-12 20:50:40

this is where being armed to the teeth and restricting men's lives and freedoms really come in to their own! you would never have to feel bad because you forgot to lock up your vagina or hide it somewhere safe (is thay right? the burglary analogy always confuses me), you could just taser first and ask questions later

of course lots of innocent men will get tasered, but to be fair, what were they expecting? people really need to take personal responsibility for their own safety.

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 20:55:41

joben - most women are raped by men they know. How is staying sober and on guard the whole time going to protect against that?

Or are you saying that most men you know would probably rape a woman if she were pissed? Because that is actually the logical conclusion of this argument.

I also find the comparison between a woman's body and a piece of property odious.

NimChimpsky Thu 04-Oct-12 20:55:50

1/3 of all rapes happen when drunk? I better take up drinking then. Odds aren't in my favour. Well if we're talking stupid logic...

Alcohol does affect your health, your mental faculties, your balance, your reaction times etc. Of course it does. This has nothing at all to do with rape. You either consent to sex or you don't. You don't decide to be raped through words or action.

And the house/car comparisons really aren't valid for myriad reasons. You leave your car unlocked, you're obviously making it easier for it to be stolen. Nothing you do to your body, nothing you say or wear leads to or causes rape or makes it more likely. Rape is caused by rapists, no more no less.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Oct-12 20:59:30

I dont think any sensible woman would think that by not drinking and taking all precautions that she is bullet proof, but I would say most sensible women also know that being very drunk can possibly increase the risk of any sort of assault, not just rape.

Nothing will stop a rapist from trying to rape. Putting a poster up saying "men! do not rape" will be no deterrent.

PiggyBankMum Thu 04-Oct-12 21:02:06

I completely agree with believing women who report rape.
And that there is no such thing as complete protection, often you will stand no chance at all.

But I have fought off a rapist, when I was a teenager, because I was able, and lucky enough, to make the right move at the right moment. Keeping as fit and active as I can (which I would do anyway) and keeping my wits about me makes me feel more confident and able to go out and about. I don't want to be under a self-imposed curfew of fear, or a male imposed curfew of potential rape. I want to go out into the night feeling confident and independent. The simple precautions I take help. But I am not such a nitwit as to let that become false security, nor to think that any woman who is attacked is in any way responsible.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Oct-12 21:02:36

And yes we all know that the majority of rapes are committed by a person known to the victim. However there are still rapes taking place by strangers.

Lets say there is a man lurking down an alleyway intent on raping the first lone female who walks down it. It wouldnt matter if she was pissed out of her face, or stone cold sober, wearing uggs or stripper heels, she could be his intended victim. However if no woman was to walk down that dark alley, then he has no victim to attack.

Dont take risks is the message. I really cannot understand why some people do not see this at all.

More than a third of rapes happen by ex-partner, partner or spouse. Don't be a victim, never get married. I've been married twice, I should start drinking to lower my chances. I am NOT making light of rape but trying to highlight how bloody stupid this is.

DowagersHump Thu 04-Oct-12 21:04:51

squeaky - how many rapes take place down dark allies? A tiny number.

It's like advice to make sure you remember your snow tyres in wintery weather when you live in Mauritius. Utterly meaningless.

It's not 'utterly meaningless', that's the sad bit.

The more people bang on about how drunk/badly dressed/young/blonde/sociable/whatever women need to take precautions to prevent rape, the more it becomes lodged in people's minds that it's their fault.

We may not intend that effect, but it is pretty obvious it's there, so why not tackle it?

squeakytoy Thu 04-Oct-12 21:12:06

"squeaky - how many rapes take place down dark allies? A tiny number."

"It's like advice to make sure you remember your snow tyres in wintery weather when you live in Mauritius. Utterly meaningless"

bullshit. hmm to those women who have been raped by strangers, do you have any idea how insulting that is?? you are basically saying, "oh well, its only a minority of women who get raped by strangers, so lets not worry about them"..

It is probable that those figures are untrue anyway as many rapes go unreported, simply because women are afraid that they will not be believed, or in the case of stranger rape, because they are unable to identify their attacker and also do not want to be blamed for taking risks.. so they say nothing, and the stranger is free to carry on raping..

A vast quantity of women raped by their partners don't report either. There was a study where the researchers asked questions about sex and rape to married women. It was something like 1% thought they had been raped by their H and the researchers used objective, legal definitions of rape and thought that 12% had not exact figures.

No one is saying that women who are raped by strangers in alleys aren't important. What we are saying is that telling women that not drinking will protect them against being raped is insulting, stupid and useless.

Think of the numbers... Most women are raped by people they know, somewhere they know, most cases drink isn't an issue. Even in the small proportion where it is a stranger, somewhere after the pubs close, she has been drinking, you still have to assume that in most of these cases, the rapist would have raped her drunk or sober. Or, would have raped another woman who was drunk. The rapes still happen. Rape prevention should be about exactly that, how can we stop rapes?

50smellsofshite Thu 04-Oct-12 21:29:42

I don't know how many reported rapes are stranger/date rape/assaults but I do know that the majority of my female friends have been sexually assaulted to some degree whilst they have been drinking/been very drunk.

I myself have had a drink spiked, and had rape attempted but because I was wearing a tampon the attacker abandoned the attack and kicked me half-naked in to the street. I fully believe I was targeted because I was a girl who was (at the time) always a bit drunk, would chat to any bloke and really was less able to make sensible decisions. If you could have viewed CCTV from that night I bet it would have been very revealing as to WHY some men target SOME women with crimes like this. I had a big arrow over my head saying "she'll be easier to rape than some of the other women in here".

At the same time I don't take ANY personal responsibility for the attack. He was a nasty bastard and sadly got away with what he did to me.
But I could have done more to reduce the risk of it being ME he targeted.

I think alcohol is important because it reduces your ability to react sensibly to situations. It gives you a false sense of security and you take extra risks.

I don't agree that dress is relevant in any way. I was wearing a short skirt that night but feel this is utterly irrelevant.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Oct-12 21:34:41

It is not stupid or useless or insulting to say that being drunk will not harm you or raise your risk factor though.

Plenty of women find themselves in awkward situations when they let their guard down, and luckily most of those women are not with rapists, but still end up wishing the next morning that they hadnt had that one night stand, and in the cold light of day wonder why on earth they thought going back to that blokes house was a good idea.

It isnt just rape, not using protection and getting sexually transmitted diseases, being mugged, falling over and injuring yourself.. there are all sorts of risks associated with getting blind drunk.. risks that you wouldnt take if you were more in control.

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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