Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Outrage over 'victim-blaming' rape posters published by the government

use.jpg
615x330-hero-main.jpg

An online petition has been launched to destroy copies of an "appalling" poster published by the government which appears to blame victims of rape and sexual assault.

The poster shows a photo of a crying woman alongside the slogan: "one in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking".

It was launched in 2005 as part of the Home Office "Know Your Limits" campaign, with the backing of the NHS. The posters were used for two years between 2005 and 2007. They're no longer published or supplied by government but copies still exist in surgeries, hospitals and universities across the UK, and are widely available online.

Cambridge University student Jack May called for a total ban on all copies of the posters in a petition launched on Change.org last week.

The poster was launched by the NHS and the Home Office in 2005

The campaign has already attracted over 48,000 signatories and includes an open letter to Home Secretary Theresa May and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

It brands the poster "a blatant and appalling case of victim blaming by our own Government, putting the onus on the victim rather than the perpetrator".

"When horrible crimes like rape or sexual assault happen, those who suffer turn to what they see as trusted authorities - the NHS for immediate help and the Home Office for justice," it reads. "That's what makes this poster so hurtful. These two great national institutions betray the trust of the thousands of victims affected every year by blaming them for something they were in no way responsible for."

Unsurprisingly, Twitter has been quick to respond to the petition with hundreds of people expressing their outrage over the posters:

"Implicating victims in their own rape is completely unacceptable - rape is always the fault of the perpetrator, and no matter what/whether the victim has been drinking, what they are wearing, what the perpetrator thinks may have been implied, rape is never their fault," petition creator Jack, who is studying English at Gonville and Caius College, told Cambridge News.

"We need to create a culture of honest, open consent, with all blame landed firmly on the shoulders of those who don’t play by the rules of consent. This poster hinders much more than it helps."

A Slutwalk march through London in 2012, demanding that women not be blamed for rape

A government spokesperson said the campaign was focused on binge drinking among 18 to 24-year-olds and was created in response to alcohol statistics, not violence against women and girls.

Click here to sign the petition and get Jeremy Hunt to ban these offensive posters for good. To read more about victim-blaming in cases of sexual assault, click here.

Related

hero-main.jpg

Myth and rape: will we ever stamp out victim-blaming in cases of sexual assault?

rachel-parris-live-in-vegas-press-shothero.jpg

10 best comedy shows to see at the Edinburgh festival fringe 2014

rexfeatures-2300995a.jpg

Infographic debunks the ultimate sex myths

alpayerdem-turkey-shortlist-open-smile-2014.jpg

Amazing wildlife and intimate family moments captured in world photography competition

bluieice.jpg

The ice cream that changes colour when it's licked

untitled-4.jpg

How much sleep do you really need? Terrifying video highlights the effects of sleep deprivation on brain function

Comments

More

At last - Britain's first gravy bar is coming

Finally, a proper way to enjoy chips

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

“When are you going to get hitched?” How to tackle intrusive questions

Useful responses for the most annoying of questions

27 Mar 2017

Oh, happy day: a live Sister Act show is coming to London

Featuring a 35-piece gospel choir and full band

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Westworld creators answer one of the big questions about Maeve

And star Thandie Newton addresses the show’s violence toward women

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Women link hands on Westminster Bridge to honour victims

Many wore blue as a symbol of hope and peace

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

New report: endometriosis symptoms often “dismissed” by doctors

42% of women said they were “not treated with dignity and respect” by doctors

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Airline defends decision to ban girls from flight for wearing leggings

The incident was “sexist and sexualised young girls”, according to an observer.

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Deliveroo is giving away free ice cream to make your Monday better

That's your lunch break sorted.

by Hayley Spencer
27 Mar 2017

Muslim witness of Westminster attack responds to Islamophobic trolls

A picture of the woman walking on Westminster Bridge has been shared widely

by Nicola Colyer
24 Mar 2017

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017