|Via Daily Mail|
Patrick, a reader, made me aware of the latest example of an anti-binge-drinking ad that ends up promoting the culture of blaming victims of rape.
In this case, it's the UK government's National Health Service that is causing outrage.
The Drum reports that the poster actually dates back to 2006, part of the "Know Your Limits" campaign, but it is still available as part of an online toolkit and posted in some health facilities.
A Change.org petition, launched recently, states:
Two honourable intentions -- to stop people drinking, and to stop rape happening - are being completely deformed. Of course we don't want people to drink so much they make themselves ill, but threatening them with rape by implication is not the way to do it. Of course we don't want anyone to endure sexual assault and rape, but making them feel like it's their fault if they do, is so far out of order.
It is not consistent with the NHS' own guidelines on 'Help after rape and sexual assault' in which they say 'If you have been sexually assaulted, remember that it wasn’t your fault. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing, where you were or whether you had been drinking. A sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator.' This is a much more helpful approach, and we ask the NHS and the Home Office to destroy this poster in all formats.It currently has over 62,000 signatures.
There have been a number of prominent anti-alcohol campaigns in recent years that have hit these same triggers, including PSAs by MADD, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, CabWise and West Mercia Police.
The fact that the NHS campaign is an older one shows how far we've come in understanding the cultural issues around rape in just a few years, but it is also a reminder to keep your PSA libraries up-to-date.