“One in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking.”
That’s the slogan from a series of posters that are papered on hospital and school walls around the United Kingdom.
It’s also the slogan that has thousands of people around the world talking.
Take a look:
The anti-drinking campaign, “Know Your Limits,” was created by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service more than seven years ago, but the posters are still around today. And now they’rez gaining more and more attention due to the way they seem to be trying to scare people off drinking with the threat of sexual assault.
The petition, which has more than 100,000 signatures, suggests the UK Government is placing responsibility on rape victims – rather than those who commit the crimes.
The petition coordinator Jack May explained, “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.”
In response to the poster, one British blogger ‘neverjessie’ decided to alter the posters so that they more accurately reflected her stance on the issue.
She wanted to emphasise the point that rapists cause rapes – nobody else.
This is what she created.
The altered poster itself started to go viral, and neverjessie was so overwhelmed by the response – both positive and negative – that she wrote a blog post about the reaction.
“It would be irresponsible not to acknowledge the risks associated with drinking, going home alone, and generally being a woman,” she explains. “Women mitigate against these risks every single day: when we say “text me when you get home safe”; when I wait outside the pub for my friends to arrive rather than sitting inside, alone; when I get my friend to text me while I’m on a date to make sure it’s all ok… We check and modify our behaviour every single day, in ways men are not required to. We shouldn’t have to, it’s exhausting and I resent it.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health reportedly told The Huffington Post UK that the NHS would not be apologising for the posters, because that particular campaign is “no longer used” – although the posters are still visible.
“This campaign is no longer used. Posters have not been in stock, or available on websites for several years,” the spokesperson said. “The problem is an issue for surgeries and hospitals displaying the poster. If they are still up after six years they should not be because the campaign has been refreshed since.”
What do you think about the posters? Are they victim-blaming?