Stop the Blame campaign

// 17 December 2010

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Welsh_Assembly_Government_logo.jpgThe Welsh Assembly Government has started a Stop Blame campaign to bust myths around rape and sexual assault.

In a Press Release issued today (17 December) Paula Hardy, Chief Executive of Welsh Women’s Aid, said:

“A woman is never responsible for being raped or sexually assaulted, but a culture of victim-blaming is still prevalent within our society – including with jurors, as noted by the DPP yesterday. If we want to break the cycle that ends up in a third of women being raped or sexually assaulted at some point during their lives, it is vital that we challenge these damaging attitudes, support victims to rebuild their lives, and place blame firmly back where it belongs – with the perpetrator.”

The campaign challenges prevalent myths about rape and negative attitudes towards women, including that a woman can be “asking for it” or responsible for being raped if she had been drinking, wearing revealing clothing, or acting flirtatiously.

The Welsh Assembly Government has produced a video to accompany the campaign which, although approaching the subject sensitively, may still be disturbing or triggering to some people. The YouTube link is here but please approach it with caution if you are likely to find the subject matter upsetting in any way.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.stopblame.org

Comments From You

Holly P // Posted 18 December 2010 at 1:48 pm

I think that this is a really important and good campaign that should be supported, but that it ultimately paints man as perpetrator, rapist, and woman as victim, raped, which isn’t always the case, and that it is inherently heteronormative.

Kathryn // Posted 18 December 2010 at 6:06 pm

In London we currently have those mini-cab adverts that graphically depict a woman being sexually assaulted in the back of a car, and are then told not to get into un-booked taxis.

It is both distressing (obviously triggering) and reinforcing the blame culture. I wish we’d gone beyond this. It seems so retrogressive –

a bit like the Personal Safety training I received at Lancashire County Council where the women were basically told not to leave copies of Marie Claire on their dashboard.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 20 December 2010 at 10:29 am

Long overdue challenging male supremacist society’s blaming women for men’s sexual violence committed against them.

However, yet again the focus is still on women even though this campaign challenges myths. The focus should be on men’s attitudes and beliefs that they never commit or condone male violence against women because women always ‘provoke or cause’ men to react violently to women. These are the misogynistic myths that must be eliminated. I note men are never told ‘you can’t wear that item of clothing’ and reason is because men are human whereas women have still not been accorded human status within our male supremacist society.

Men need to told they not women will be held accountable for their crimes against women. By the way, evidence consistently proves male violence against women is hugely disproportionate to female violence against males. But of course there will always be claims ‘women are as violent as men’ or this campaign ‘blames men’ because men are supposedly victimised in equal numbers to women. Reality check – men are never subjected to violence because they are male – but women simply because of their sex are considered suitable targets by men because unlike men we are not human.

Sheila // Posted 20 December 2010 at 12:51 pm

There is just a bit too much drawn out titivating behaviour in this video for me to be confident about its aims. I’d rather see a hung over man in a police cell being asked why he didn’t stop when she asked him to. Otherwise I am worried this video is just an excuse to show some leg and cleavage.

Kit // Posted 24 December 2010 at 4:16 pm

Haven’t watched the video, but the website itself looks really good (apart from the issues Holly mentioned – there are parts of the site like the definitions that could be made gender neutral and more obviously cover other forms of rape and sexual assault than most folks know of). IDK I’m liking what I’m hearing from the Welsh Assembly atm with this and their decision on tuition fees…

Natalie // Posted 26 December 2010 at 11:45 pm

I was raped by my ex boyfriend while we were still together and I told a girl about it. She then said to me that I was asking for it, he was my boyfriend so he was entitled to do it and I should have had sex with him more. I just couldnt believe what she was saying!

Sheila // Posted 27 December 2010 at 5:47 pm

Sorry to hear you’ve been on the receiving end of some woman-blaming rubbish too. Sympathy and understanding come from unexpected sources sometimes. I hope you have some more sympathetic support now.

Jessica Metaneira // Posted 27 December 2010 at 7:34 pm

Jesus! I’m really sorry Natalie. Her attitude was inexcusable.

I don’t think people get that looking attractive or being someone’s partner does not mean you consented to sex right there and then. Only saying yes to sex is consent. It doesn’t matter if you were wearing a miniskirt and a bra top. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together 10 years…the only time someone has the right to sex is when their partner has ACTIVELY CONSENTED to it.

Natalie // Posted 28 December 2010 at 6:05 pm

Thank you.

I did get more sympathy and understanding from guys who knew about it.

And you’re right Jessica.

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