Sunday, 5 August 2012

Outdated victim blaming - will the police ever learn?

Worcester police force last month distributed hundreds of these posters around towns in the West Midlands. The posters tell women they can prevent rape or "regretful sex" by not drinking or wearing a dress. The woman in the photo seems to be both drunk and wearing a dress, so she was really asking for it.

Thankfully, due to anti-rape campaigners, the police have issued an 'apology' but why did the police force, in 2012, approve this campaign in the first place. Our attitudes are still not close to blaming who should be blamed.

Another thing that pisses me off about this poster is that the phrase rape and "regretful sex" are used together - which is a really dangerous thing to do. Are they suggesting that when women say that they are raped that it could just be "regret" (they lied because they changed their mind when they woke up and are lying bitches and whores.) Or - are they saying that regretting consensual sex is rape? This message is wholly confusing. These two terms should not be used together; people already accuse victims of lying or exaggerating enough without this bollocks poster advertising a load of bollocks beliefs.

The second thing that stands out to me is the phrase "get home safely." Women are constantly taught to live in fear of what might happen to them when they're out in public - especially at night time while wearing skirts or dresses or when they're drunk. But women get sexually assaulted all the time in day light, when they're fully dressed and completely sober. We rarely teach them the truth - that the most dangerous place for them to be is at home. This hypothetical lady lying there on the floor probably would have been safer going out than staying at home. So when she listens to things like this and stays at home, she's confused and doesn't know what to call it when someone beats her up in her house. Or rapes her. She followed all the rules, she didn't get drunk or dress like a 'slut' but she is still blamed anyway. Because victims are always blamed no matter what they do or how they are raped.