Blogger Fixes UK’s Victim-Blaming Alcohol/Rape PSA

Via Feministing, a British blogger has helped adjust some old PSAs from a National Health Service campaign to encourage safer drinking. The original poster, which shows a woman lying on the ground laughing, says, “One in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking.” With a Photoshop edit from the blogger behind Two Thirds Nerd, the PSA now reads, “Three in three reported rapes happens [sic] when someone decides to commit rape.”

As the blogger wrote regarding responses she’s received from her initial tweet, “[the original ad] reinforces and validates the belief that women are responsible for avoiding rape, and, therefore, responsible for anything that might happen, also. The onus is always placed on the woman to not get raped, rather than the man to not rape.” She’s right, of course. Still, I’m dismayed that when we talk about sexual violence, alcohol use and abuse becomes a verboten subject. I’m reminded of a response I wrote to a Dear Prudence column about young women and drinking: victims shouldn’t be held responsible for the crimes committed against them, but not addressing binge drinking culture (or underage drinking in America) is ignoring the conditions in which a lot of sexual violence occurs. I wish talking about drinking and binge drinking could more peacefully coexist with talking about sexual violence, because it feels very much like you’re on one “side” or the other. [Feministing via Two Thirds Nerd]