ACPO lines up for some Christmas victim blaming

// 1 December 2009

A “rape awareness” campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers has spawned some seriously victim-blaming coverage in the media.

Check out this headline in the Metro, for example, which admonishes “Don’t become a rape victim this Christmas”:


(Thanks to Louise for the scan)

The campaign itself stresses that alcohol features as a “factor” in many rapes, according to Dave Whatton, Chief Constable of Cheshire, “whether it is consumed by the victim or the offender”.

I’d say that was already verging towards victim blaming – but it’s really telling that the media coverage has seized on only half of this equation, advising women on how not to be victims, not so much concentrating on the risk that consuming alcohol might contribute to a perpetrator raping someone.

Not that I’m holding my breath for a headline that swings around the focus, like, say: “Don’t become a rapist this Christmas”.

This whole episode reminds me of Sexual assault prevention tips guaranteed to work!

Comments From You

aimee // Posted 1 December 2009 at 4:25 pm

For fuck’s sake.

I think ‘men raping women’ is a much bigger factor that ‘alcohol’!

Louise // Posted 1 December 2009 at 4:36 pm

Not to mention objectification of women, low sentences, lack of sex education in schools, blaming the victim for wearing a short skirt/ being drunk.

Kate // Posted 1 December 2009 at 4:39 pm

To be fair they have attempted to target men and that’s pretty unusual. Look at the top poster… “No Consent, No sex”. It seems to be the media who want to turn it into a victim blaming session.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 1 December 2009 at 5:03 pm

Abyss2hope says it far more succinctly than I and this is taken from entry dated 14-8-09

‘Remember that lecturing those you view as especially vulnerable on proper behavior or clothing as if they can prevent sexual assault can reinforce the rationalizations of the sexually violent and those who deny most non-stranger assaults. Safety talk with those who seem vulnerable should focus on highlighting and opposing the predatory habits of those who are sexually violent.’

Ergo – ACPO and the media cease telling women they are to blame for supposedly causing men to rape them and instead focus on highlighting and challenging those men who engage in sexually predatory behaviour – the male rapists who continue not to be charged with rape but instead are viewed as ‘innocent victims of women’s false allegations.’

Last time I checked alcohol was not responsible for men’s violence against women, rather it is men’s belief which is reinforced by our legal system and society that men must never be held accountable for their sexually predatory behaviour or pseudo belief in automatic sexual access to any woman or girl who they happen to view as ‘sexually available.’

ACPO should be focusing on how and why so many women rape survivors are still being failed by police forces who continue to adhere to misogynsitic rape myths. Cambridgeshire Police force is an excellent example of what happens when a woman reports to police a man has raped her. This police force conveniently ‘loses’ her report and so another male rapist is not charged and is free to continue committing sexual violence against women and girls.

rose_hasty // Posted 1 December 2009 at 11:17 pm

Ah shucks, what a shame. We all know that as soon as the first frost arrives we all become drawn to the idea of wearing ‘provocative’ clothing, drinking alcohol, leaving our homes after dark and generally becoming rape victims. It’s what we aspire to at this most festive of periods.

Seriously, can this be called journalism? Seems more like a regional publication giving a clear explanation to our misogynist men folk just how easy it is to rape at Christmas.

Kate // Posted 2 December 2009 at 9:05 am

Jennifer Drew, excellent post. I was kicking myself last night for trying to excuse ACPO, sometimes low expectations are not a good thing.

Next year I would dearly love to see ACPO run a campaign along the lines of “Raped – We believe you”. When most women still don’t feel able to report to the police, especially if they’re been drinking, they have no place scrutinising anything but their own failings.

I can understand why they feel these campaigns have to connect to victims as well as attackers but they just get it so wrong. I’m not sure if it’s because there’s comparatively little data around so they latch on to the British Crime Survey’s alcohol findings. Plus I imagine that the number of high profile cases there have been involving rape and alcohol have played a part, but you’d think they could actually liaise with survivor’s groups and ask what kind of messages are going to make women feel supported and able to report.

Kit // Posted 2 December 2009 at 9:29 am

I think I saw adverts to do with this last night (unless they were by different people). They focused more on “No consent, no sex” for the advert for the man’s pov, and I think about what support you can get for ads from the woman’s pov… unlike the line taken by the news and the men where I work yesterday morning :(

I think they have this idea that the only real type of rape is the stranger down a dark alley or knock you out with a drug in your drink kind, and that when women do get drunk and then say they’ve been raped they’re just doing it because they regret getting drunk etc. How do you counter a belief like that?

aimee // Posted 2 December 2009 at 10:17 am

I’d be really interested to know what you guys think about this:

… I thought it had good intentions, but was otherwise problematic for so many reasons. What do you think?

gadgetgal // Posted 2 December 2009 at 10:42 am

@aimee – I’ve heard about this before. Some people had problems with areas like “walk a mile in her shoes” which involved a bunch of guys wearing heels, and I recall an awful lot of cries about women not always wearing heels, and how it was sexist. I just thought what a stupid argument against an organisation who want to stop rape and violence towards women! The walk is to raise other peoples’ awareness of the issue, and I think it’s great that a group of men want to play their part in stopping the violence instead of bleating “what about the menz?” as per!

Also some people seemed to have a problem with men forming their own organisation at all without it being part of a wider feminist movement or organisation, but I think the benefits of this group outweigh any issues people may have with men forming their own support group. In the long run it’s going to take help from all parts of society to make a real change, and I give full marks to anyone who wants to try.

Kate // Posted 2 December 2009 at 10:54 am

Incidentally, for anyone wandering how a Tory government will handle violence against women, I’ve just been alerted to this parliamentary question by their shadow home affairs minister. N.B. parties tend to use parliamentary questions to provide material for attention grabbing press releases.

“James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department holds on the number of victims of sexual violence referred to sexual assault referral centres who were intoxicated by alcohol at the time of the alleged assault in the last 12 months.”

FeminaErecta // Posted 2 December 2009 at 11:02 am

You know those ‘There’s Probably No God’ ads that the atheists took out on buses, could we not just club together and buy some ‘Don’t Be A Rapist’ advertising space?

Elmo // Posted 2 December 2009 at 11:13 am

Looking at it, I think ‘mystrength’ seems to be a good thing. They are some of the only men iv’e come across whose belief is that the way to prevent rape is for men to NOT DO IT, and thats really refreshing. I don’t think we should jump to criticize, because, if the website does have faults, its aim at least is a really positive and needs all the support it can get

Catherine Redfern // Posted 2 December 2009 at 11:17 am

Kate – that parliamentary question is SHOCKING.

I’m speechless, really… and filled with dread. :(

Kit // Posted 2 December 2009 at 11:35 am

@Kate: ouch, that question’s intent seems a little ambiguous :S is he thinking the number of women referred is too high (i.e. because if they were drunk they shouldn’t be referred there) or too low and .: women in that circumstance aren’t treated the same as other victims of sexual violence?

Kate // Posted 2 December 2009 at 12:01 pm

@Kit, true, but of course women can self-refer to SARCS as well. Of course he may be concerned that women who have been drinking are put off accessing services… I’m still sceptical of the motives though, it’s an inflammatory area.

Kez // Posted 2 December 2009 at 12:03 pm

I’m struggling to understand the reasoning behind that parliamentary question. Are statistics even kept about the number who were “intoxicated by alcohol”? Should it be relevant? And if so, why? How do you determine what constitutes intoxication – having had one drink? being completely paralytic? where do you draw the line?

Kate // Posted 2 December 2009 at 12:13 pm

Kez, no, they don’t keep the information anyway.

Northern Jess // Posted 2 December 2009 at 2:11 pm

…and are they going to be also making a note of how many of the men who did the raping were intoxicated by alcohol? Oh that’s right, I forgot, only 7% of the 5% reported to the police result in conviction, so collecting data on that is impossible.

I’m pretty certain the men shouting sexually explicit things after me in the street whenever I walk home from my bar job are intoxicated, and I’m also pretty sure that the men who visit lap dancing clubs are also intoxicated- (a friend of mine who is a lap dancer is encouraged by the owner of the clubs she dances in to make the men spend as much on drink as possible, and uses the money she makes through the bar to pay off some of the fee she is charged for dancing rather than prostitute herself) when harrasing the women they meet on the way home.

Why do successive governments keep on looking for anyone else to blame for violence but the purpetrators of said violence? I thought the Conservatives were against this ‘protect the criminal’ culture the Daily Fail keeps banging on about? Oh, sorry, I forgot again, that only applies to men…

NorthernJess // Posted 2 December 2009 at 3:38 pm

Just checked up on Mr Brokenshire. He is anti gay rights, and voted for IVF clinics considering the need for a father and a mother before allowing women to begin fertility treatment,

He did, however, vote for the reduction on upper limit on abortion from 24 to 22 weeks.

Rita // Posted 2 December 2009 at 3:40 pm

Excessive drinking is a big problem on alone, and rape is another problem on its own. I see many girls who self destruct with alcohol without me having to think of rape.

On a side note, yesterday as i was on my local underground in glasgow, i saw two girls following two older boys on and off the train, infact they changed their route journey to get on the same train as these two boys who did not seem to know them at all. These boys ignored the two girls all the way, even off the train, they ried to walk away as far as they could from these two girls, and it was good to see that they ignored their foolish behaviour. Not even a word of insult to them.

I felt sorry for these girls and wondered where their parents were. Kudos to the boys though.

JenniferRuth // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:02 pm

@ FeminaErecta

“You know those ‘There’s Probably No God’ ads that the atheists took out on buses, could we not just club together and buy some ‘Don’t Be A Rapist’ advertising space?”

I think this is a great idea! But advertising space on the side of buses (called a superside) is very expensive – I’m talking about £100,000 minimum for 2 weeks on a few buses and probably more if including London.

Interior panel advertising would probably be more cost effective – they cost about £20-30 each. But to have an impact then you would have to buy a lot. I don’t think even if all of us F-Word readers bought one each would cover a large area.

So it would have to be a really large donation drive!

I think it is a brilliant idea but I don’t know how one would even start trying to raise money for such a thing.

Alternatively there is always graffiti. That’s why I carry a sharpie and feminist stickers around with me :)

I do have one more idea though…facebook ads. They’re affordable, can be targeted and we could direct the click-through to a specific website.

Jess McCabe // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:17 pm

@JenniferRuth – I had no idea the interior bus ads were only £20-30, that’s totally affordable. I wonder if they have a minimum number you have to buy?

gadgetgal // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:30 pm

I’m pretty skint just now but I’d be willing to donate for the ads – seems like too good an idea to not do it! Will look into prices when I get home later, see if it makes a difference depending upon location…

FeminaErecta // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:36 pm

Find out! There could be a series of them- ‘Don’t be a Rapist’, ‘Don’t touch people’s bottoms without them wanting you to’, ‘Don’t shout sexually explicit things at strangers, it is not nice’, ‘The best way to stop sexual assault is by stopping sexually assaulting people’….

Melanie // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:41 pm

Ah, yes, that amazing patriarchal paradox, whereby if a rapist has been drinking when he attacks, it somehow makes him less culpable, but if his victim has been drinking, it somehow makes her more culpable.

I am sickened by this article, particularly the blatantly victim-blaming title. If, as men keep telling me, this kind of advice to women is not sexist, oppressive and victim-blaming, but merely “common sense” and only “part of a wider strategy”, why is it that we never see articles on e.g. knife crime, advising young men not to go out at night, not to dress in a way that might provoke potential attackers, not to drink too much?

And Brokenshire’s parliamentary question is unbelievable.

FeminaErecta // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:48 pm

As for raising money, well someone must know someone who works in the charity sector, or a school who has done fundraising, where does this website get its funding (if any) from? Or could you have some sort of paypal thing where people buy each other a spondered ad like the Oxfam Christmas buy-a-goat thing? Like a feminist xmas (know thats incredibly un-PC but you know what I mean) present, someone would buy sponsership for an advert on someones behalf. My cousin’s primary school did a sponser a brick thing for their new library, could you do something similarcould you have a website where people paid for the ads and a list of the people were put up, this would create publicity as well and could be linked with the facebook thing? I know literally nothing about this but will ask around.

JenniferRuth // Posted 2 December 2009 at 4:55 pm

If you want to know more about interior panel advertising prices there is a pdf you can download here:

There is also contact information in the bottom right corner.

(of course, other companies may offer cheaper rates but CBS Outdoor are pretty good – there is also

As a graphic designer I could help out with sourcing royalty free images, designing the ad and print specifications if this was something people want to go forward with.

I’m pretty sure that there are some good writers here who could come up with a great slogan too!

Although I would say to have an impact then we would need a LOT of buses carrying the ads! (And £20-30 isn’t affordable for everyone…I’m not trying to put a damper on the idea or anything – just be realistic!)

Jess McCabe // Posted 2 December 2009 at 5:03 pm

And £20-30 isn’t affordable for everyone…I’m not trying to put a damper on the idea or anything – just be realistic!

Of course, but it’s not on the scale of thousands of pounds, y’know. A major campaign with lots of buses would be difficult, to be honest, I think, but a few here and there might be interesting… Like the campaign a little while ago where people bought one-off ads on Facebook to disrupt the weight loss ads, even just a little bit for a few people…

Kate // Posted 2 December 2009 at 5:06 pm

I’d rather see organisations with the money (like ACPO) run a campaign that was actually effective without being offensive.

evie // Posted 2 December 2009 at 5:28 pm

That’s an awesome idea. I’d certainly contribute.

Perhaps the wording could be such that it counters a particular misconception as well. E.g. “If she’s too drunk to consent, it’s rape.” or “Don’t assume she’s asking for it unless she’s said so.” or something. Followed by the “Don’t become a rapist this Christmas” tagline.

rose_hasty // Posted 2 December 2009 at 6:11 pm

You have to look at Angry Women of Liverpools “How not to be a rapist” poster. That’s perfect for this!

Louise has a copy… I’d put in for an advert DEFINITELY!

Louise Bond // Posted 2 December 2009 at 6:25 pm

I think its a good idea to get this out to as many people as possible either as a flyer or even to put inside lads mags.


Be careful

over the festive season!

If you must go out and use alcohol then

remember these simple rules:

10 Sexual

Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to

control their behaviour

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave

them alone

3. If you stop to help someone with car problems,

remember not to assault them

4. Take care not to open an unlocked door or window when

not invited

5. If you are in a lift and someone else gets in, be

careful – remember not to assault them

6. Take care when in a laundrette, remember that people

go to laundrettes to do their washing, do not attempt to assault someone who is

alone in a laundrette

7. Use this simple BUDDY SYSTEM: If you really are

unable to stop yourself assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you at all

times while you are out in public

8. Be honest with people, don’t pretend to be a caring

friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault, always tell

someone first if you are planning to assault them. If you don’t communicate

your intentions the other person may assume that you do not plan to rape or

assault them

9. Take care, remember it is illegal and wrong to have

sex with someone who is asleep or unconscious, every year lots of men end up in

prison for rape – don’t be one of them

10.Carry a whistle or rape alarm (these are bulky items

that look like a marker pen that women are expected to carry around with them

at all times, perhaps a female friend could lend you one) then if you are

worried you might accidentally assault someone you can hand the alarm to a

friend or passerby so they can use it to alert the authorities and stop you

from doing something you would regret. Remember that you and you alone are to blame if you fall victim to being a rapist.

(Please note that if you can refrain from assaulting

anyone who lives with you then the authorities would prefer it if you stayed

indoors rather than attempting to go out and enjoy yourself, especially between

the hours of 9pm and 2.30am over the holiday season. Many thanks for your


If you are worried (good) then don’t panic, you can find more information about how not to fall victim to being a rapist or sexual abuser on the following websites:

The authorities have also produced a handy guide for WOMEN to observe over the festive season. Please be advised of the following rule:

1 – Remember at all times that you are already fabulous and you practically own the world, making up over half of the world’s population. Take care to go out and enjoy yourself over the holidays with your friends, family and colleagues. Have a wonderful season!

Deya // Posted 2 December 2009 at 8:10 pm

1. I am totally IN with the plan to buy ad space inside buses – excellent excellent suggestion. Incidentally has anyone seen The Haven adverts that were inside buses a few months ago, something on the lines of “Sadly, rape is an everyday occurrence,” followed by what The Haven could do once it had happened? I found this troubling because it seemed to have a tone that was resigned to the fact that it was an everyday occurrence, rather than outraged (yet helpful and sympathetic to the victims) by it. Anyway. Ours sound great! Where do I sign up?

2. From looking at the campaign materials for this xmas police drive I do believe they had some intention of addressing the issue that rape is caused by rapists – the man pov film seems to be all about consent, the woman pov film does not mention so-called prevention so-called strategies and the only words said in both films come from the woman saying no. But all the publicity surrounding the campaign chooses to recite just the same old meaningless non-advice that women have already had drummed into them since walking age by the powers of patriarchy. I wonder what the media’s problem is. Why not a “new” angle for just the once?

Also related to the prevention tips guaranteed to work, this is an entertaining read:

sianmarie // Posted 3 December 2009 at 8:52 am

i think it’s a wonderful idea! i would certainly be happy to contribute. as you say Jennifre-Ruth we wouldn’t be able to go nationwide with small funds, but a few could start to make an impact and if we went on to facebook as well…

plus if we asked fawcett and the networks across the country to help push it forward, either with funds or advertising, and it is the kind of pre xmas campaign that would get media attention (hopefully the right kind)

i’m a copywriter/writer so will be happy to help out in any way i can.

Kate // Posted 3 December 2009 at 1:49 pm

That list is amusing and it’s good for feminist spaces, but I think it would be entirely the wrong approach for a campaign actually aimed at men. For obvious reasons this is a touchy issue for many men and they are incredibly reluctant to engage with it (hence why they either refuse to believe the statistics or hijack every debate with a cry of “what about the men?”). Any slogan that implies “all men are rapists” just turns them off and creates hostility, it does nothing to get them analysing their own behaviour or challenging their friends.

gadgetgal // Posted 3 December 2009 at 2:56 pm

@Kate – I just commented on the piece “Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work” and said something fairly similar to you, but I don’t think that’s a reason to not put the ads up, I think it’s a reason to think carefully on what they say. Many men would get upset and angry if they felt you were equating all of them with rapists, but by the same token a lot of men also don’t know what rape actually covers (drugs, drink and other types of coercion). As this is the most common form of rape I would think getting an educational poster campaign to raise awareness about it would be quite positive. Even if there was a big outcry I still think it would help a lot of guys who genuinely don’t know.

I really like evie’s slogans particularly: “If she’s too drunk to consent, it’s rape.”and “Don’t assume she’s asking for it unless she’s said so.” They’re more subtle, and you could argue more educational rather than confrontational.

Kate // Posted 3 December 2009 at 3:04 pm

@Gadget Girl – I agree it could be useful to have something along those lines, sort of “think you couldn’t be a rapist – think again”. I think you have to engage with the fact that most men (and a lot of women) still think of a rapist as a scary stranger because they don’t understand that a lot of “normal” sexual behaviour can be rape. As you imply, I think you have to be thought provoking, not flippant.

gadgetgal // Posted 3 December 2009 at 3:47 pm

@Kate – cool! If we think about it in those terms this could actually make a difference!

I had a look at the price lists Jennifer Ruth provided and they seem quite reasonable, and there’s not too much difference in price between London and Manchester. There was also a section detailing how you get copy approval, so theoretically a couple of posters could be mocked up before any payment is made. They accept pdf files so we wouldn’t even need to print initially.

It says the posters need to follow CBS and ASA guidelines – does anyone know anything about them? The only thing I know about the ASA is they mostly don’t like women very much, and that’s about it!

JenniferRuth // Posted 3 December 2009 at 3:54 pm

@ Sianmarie

I thought I remembered that you were a copywriter! I’d love to see what kind of strap lines you could come up with for something like this.

What kind of imagery do we want for something like this? Obviously we will be very much avoiding the TFL Cabwise approach…

I think it would be good if it were simple typography – make the words the centre of the ad, not pictures or graphics.

sianmarie // Posted 3 December 2009 at 4:10 pm

one day jennifer ruth we will set up our feminist advertising and design agency!

in the mean time though i will see what i can come up with…

evie // Posted 3 December 2009 at 4:11 pm

Exactly, like the atheist ads – text only is simple and hard-hitting.

aimee // Posted 3 December 2009 at 4:19 pm

I would also be happy to contribute, and perhaps a little ghetto postering is in order? :)

evie // Posted 3 December 2009 at 4:22 pm

Also, do we want to get people like Rape Crisis England and Wales and The Truth About Rape involved, to spearhead publicity, have a logo at the bottom, etc?

BareNakedLady // Posted 3 December 2009 at 4:24 pm

Not to pee on the party, but aren’t some of these adverts already aimed at men? The first one in the scan ‘Rape: short word, long sentence / No consent, no sex’ – that’s the best I’ve ever seen for actually targeting men rather than women.

Bearing in mind that any campaign coming from a feminist organisation is going to get plenty of ‘it’s those man-hating feminists’ attacks, I think the milder the message the better. Better to be mild and listened to than angry and dismissed.

Obviously I don’t think the ‘man-hating feminists’ comments would be accurate, but they get used as a primary excuse to ignore feminist messages like this – the more obvious it is that we’re *not* man-hating, the less that works.

I like the ‘if she’s too drunk to consent, it’s rape’ one, btw. Especially since this time of year it plays right into the drunk-office-party way of thinking.

Louise Bond // Posted 3 December 2009 at 8:52 pm

I think it may upset some men but I think it is good to get a reaction because at least it will get people thinking and debating the issue. I think it may upset some men because the truth hurts, at least if it upsets them it will stick in their mind next time they try to take advantage of a drunk girl.

rose_hasty // Posted 3 December 2009 at 11:22 pm

I totally agree! Advertising isn’t as simple as making somebody buy Persil or forcing someone to switch to a bank as soon as they see the advert. It’s about sewing a seed. Government style, out-of-touch, sensitive messages get ignored. Sarcastic, shocking, never-heard before messages get noticed, spoken about, they spur some anger and that’s what we need. I’d love to hear the word ‘rape’ said with as little trepidation as the word ‘murder’. The are both acts we need to put outside of what is considered normal human behaviour.

(however I’d still put the £20 in for the messages suggested above!)

Jess McCabe // Posted 3 December 2009 at 11:35 pm

I agree with rose_hasty and Louise Bond on this one.

Actually, I think a hard hitting campaign that doesn’t shy away from naming the fact that many many men are committing sexual assault could possibly be effective. Lots of tactics all tried at the same time might be the best strategy, but at the moment I think there’s really very little out there which is getting across that message. In terms of men as allies, I think one thing to do could be look at campaigns around encouraging men to not tolerate it when men they know rape and commit sexual assault.

Men can be allies and do something about this issue – I also really like this facebook group for example, which seems like it’s getting it right:

It is our job as males in this culture, to actively and directly confront and combat rape and rape culture. Pervasive systems of misogyny and a continuum of messages in media combine to make this a very dangerous place for our sisters, our daughters, and our mothers. Here, we declare our unwavering, clearly-stated, and aggressive intention to push in the opposite direction.

Join us. Sport the badge. Let everyone know what you are about…and what you are not about.

earwicga // Posted 4 December 2009 at 3:27 am


“I like the ‘if she’s too drunk to consent, it’s rape’ one, btw. Especially since this time of year it plays right into the drunk-office-party way of thinking.”

I think that one is completely useless. The issue is CONSENT, and with acquaintance rape it seems that the rapists don’t have the first idea about what consent is. They have a completely different mindset to us – the ones set down by the patriachy that our bodies are available to them at all times and y’know, the knowledge that No sometimes, often, means yes. Seems that message is just playing into rape mythology to me.

FeminaErecta // Posted 4 December 2009 at 9:58 am

“To far gone to say yes? Think No: Don’t be a rapist this Christmas”

polly // Posted 4 December 2009 at 5:30 pm

Something that seems to have got a lot less publicity recently is a report on how victims of rape are treated by police, which says that poor women are a lot less likely to be believed when they report rape.

saranga // Posted 5 December 2009 at 12:40 pm

i’d donate money.

earwicga // Posted 6 December 2009 at 2:29 am

Thanks for the link polly. (Perhaps you should volunteer for a guest blogger post on here).

And guess what, the BBC uses it’s standard rape story picture – the one with the woman in the short tight skirt.

rose_hasty // Posted 6 December 2009 at 10:54 am


I think that has the same problem. A lot of men choose not to understand what ‘consent’ or ‘too drunk’ means. Plus a person could be so drunk they say the word yes but are in no way sober enough to be making a decision. But I think we should keep brainstorming and not lose momentum on this one! You’re all welcome to use Northwest Feminists yahoo group to discuss the idea further if you like??

Louise Bond // Posted 6 December 2009 at 12:30 pm

I think one of the main issues with rape is that people stereotype it as a stranger jumping out from behind a bush to attack a woman. Even then they will probably still blame the woman for what she was wearing or drinking.

The same men who will go round practically bragging that they would never rape a woman would think nothing of meeting with a 16 year old girl half their age, plying her with a loads of alcohol and then “having sex” with her. They would not even class this as rape and would choose to do it BECAUSE they know the woman will be too drunk to say no or too young/scared to know how to say no. They know there will be no repercussions and they beleive that as a man this is their entitlement and that the woman is asking for it anyway because she is wearing a short skirt. People’s mindsets need to change about what rape actually is. Also people need to realise that a short skirt does not equal consent.

aimee // Posted 6 December 2009 at 1:41 pm

How often have you heard a man say that he’s going to get a girl drunk and have sex with her? He’s going to ply her with drinks.. or something?! Men like this NEED upsetting ‘cos they don’t see anything wrong with what they do.

FeminaErecta // Posted 7 December 2009 at 2:05 pm

‘Having sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with you is a crime.

Even if they are drunk, wearing revealing clothing, on their own, or were all over you ten minutes ago, if they don’t want to, and you do it anyway, you are raping them’. End of. Don’t be a rapist this Christmas. No means No.’

Dwysan Edwards // Posted 7 December 2009 at 10:35 pm

Hia, this is exactly what I wrote about to my local paper, the Daily Post last week, if you want to see my response please visit my group on Facebook, it’s called Keep Women Informed Today – KWIT. Not only is it irresponsible to blame women for rape i.e. drinking alcohol, it’s insulting to some men that they are unable to control themselves if a woman is pis**ed isn’t it? Get a grip! Women are raped because a perpetrator decides to exercise that control over them. No other reason.

Rose_Hasty // Posted 8 December 2009 at 11:26 am


So what’s happening with the bus adverts??

Troon // Posted 8 December 2009 at 12:00 pm

On a related issue, has anyone else seen, commented on or complained about a whole range of posters aimed at parents, which feature a young girl with a pixellated face,pinned down on the ground by a hooded youth and unable to move. The caption on the back warns parents that if ‘their’ teenagers drink they are more likely to end up being sexually assaluted, getting STDs or getting pregnant, achieveing the amazing double insult of equating consensual sex (assuming the girl was not too drunk to give consent, just drinking) with rape and blaming the victim.

They’ve gone up in public places all over our town, and in family rooms of children’s centres. So there’s a nice image to explain to my two-year old.

FeminaErecta // Posted 8 December 2009 at 12:49 pm

Stonewall have a bus campaign!!!! My bus this morning said ‘some people are gay, get over it’ all accross the inside which I thought was brilliant.

rose_hasty // Posted 8 December 2009 at 2:40 pm

Sounds awful. Any idea who’s responsible for them? Maybe your local authority? I haven’t seen any in the North West.

evie // Posted 9 December 2009 at 6:21 pm

Meanwhile, over at the Torygraph:

“Contact them and tell them to pull the piece or to accurately reflect the realities of date rape drugs and sexual assault. We did it before, we can do it again. ”

Elmo // Posted 11 December 2009 at 10:10 am

The “some people are gay” campaign is on Edinburgh buses too, I think its quite effective-now all we need is “Want to prevent rape this Xmas?-THEN DON’T DO IT”

polly // Posted 12 December 2009 at 11:22 am

Thai is the best slogan ever, Elmo.

Robin // Posted 14 December 2009 at 10:18 am

I live in Suffolk, and a couple of years ago there was a set of adverts on buses (I can’t remember if it was on the side or at the back, but they were definitely on the outside) which I think just said ‘Rape is still rape if you’re in a relationship’ and then gave a helpline number. I can’t remember if it was run by the police or the council or someone else entirely, but they seemed a lot better than anything similar I’ve seen since.

Claire // Posted 14 December 2009 at 7:32 pm

Suffolk. Yeah, that’d be the county with no rape crisis centre for a population of 600,000, no domestic violence provision within social services for adult survivors and a domestic homicide rate twice the national average. So I guess they spend their budget on a cheap advertising gimmick to con people into thinking they are doing anything.

Elmo // Posted 15 December 2009 at 5:11 pm

Todays metro had a report warning men not to use alcohol as an excuse to rape their partners, and reminding people that blaming women for drinking too much was also not an excuse for rape. Which was quite refreshing. But then the metro is like that, it changes its views more often than i change my socks (and i change my socks at least once a fortnight)

Robin // Posted 15 December 2009 at 7:33 pm

I know it’s pretty token, and I know Suffolk as a county is pretty dire on most counts. It’s just the only advert of its kind I’ve ever seen that wasn’t victim-blaming, so I thought it was worth a mention. If it had been backed up with any kind of positive action, though, it would have impressed me a lot more.

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