Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

An anti-rape campaign which triggers survivors (content note for image and language)

The ad below was tweeted into our timeline this morning. We have serious reservations about an anti-rape campaign which uses triggering images to reflect a very narrow definition of rape. The ad comprises of two pages stuck together, when you pull them apart the image is of a woman on her back with her legs spread open with the phrase “if you have to use force, it’s rape".

  1. Rape does not require physical force. Rape is the absence of consent and this includes coercion, emotional blackmail and a victim incapable of consent due to inebriation, sleep or specific vulnerabilities. The idea that rape requires force is a very dangerous myth. It makes it harder for victims to report.
  2. These kinds of images are extremely triggering for survivors. Anti-rape campaigns must be very careful with the images and language they use.

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It is absolutely essential for anti-rape programs to address perpetrators but they cannot use sexually suggestive images as above. A much more effective anti-rape campaign has been developed in Scotland. These are the images used in the "We can stop it" campaign.

jay pete

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