|Image via Ads of The World|
This one comes from Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire, produced in-house by the creative team of Stuart Kerray and Dave Follon. The Council told The Mail they hoped their campaign "will reduce crime and shock revellers into thinking twice about how much they drink."
Writing in her Wordpress blog, Karen Ingala Smith saw it differently. I'll let her take it from here:
Though the poster doesn’t explicitly mention rape, the lines “when you drink too much you lose control and put yourself at risk” together with an image of a dishevelled young woman in a short dress, make clear that the risk is that of sexual violence. The article was picked up widely re-reported including in The Independent and Daily Mail and eventually discussed in a piece by Sarah Vine under the title “Sorry sisters, but girls who get blind drunk ARE risking rape” in which she stated her refusal to join “the chorus of feminist disapproval” and argued that women need to take responsibility for their own safety, going on to mention “one or two nasty brushes” that made her realise how important it was to not willingly put herself in the path of danger and “stupidly” becoming a victim.
The concept of a victim of violence ‘willingly and stupidly putting themselves in the path of danger’ is judgemental victim blaming. Whether though an act of choosing or not choosing to do something, a victim of sexual violence is never responsible for what is done to them. Rapists and abusers are the only ones responsible for rape and abuse.
Rapists and abusers use excuses to justify their actions, to discredit their victims and to shift responsibility for their choices away from themselves and on to their victims. They use exactly the kind of excuses encapsulated in the Calderdale poster and Vine’s piece, in short: “She didn’t take care. “ or “She was asking for it.”Is she reading too much into it? Let's look at how the same campaign advertises to male bingers:
|Via Ads of The World|
|Via Ads of The World|
The council’s Cabinet member for economy and environment, Coun Barry Collins, told the Yorkshire Post (in a classic non-apology) that the images "were not intended to cause offence."
We have used images of both men and women to raise awareness of the impacts on anyone of taking drugs and drinking too much. The aim of the campaign is to expose as many people as possible to timely advice to enjoy a safe night out.He said the same images were used last year, with no complaints until now.
So perhaps some progress has been made?