Words from the campaign:
Several reviews (including one by the Crown Office in Scotland) and other pieces of research conducted over the last few years have highlighted consistently and alarmingly a range of prejudicial attitudes held by the public which blame women for their victimisation and compound an already traumatic experience by attributing the assault in whole or in part to some aspect of their demeanour or behaviour.
This is particularly true where women have been drinking before being raped, if they dress in a manner deemed to be ‘provocative’, or if they have engaged in some level of intimacy with their attacker before an assault. Women who suffer rape in the context of a marriage or other intimate partnership are also seriously disadvantaged by public attitudes, which often support the view that by entering into this marriage or relationship, they have somehow given up their right to refuse consent to sex.
The myth persists that only rape by a stranger counts as ‘real rape’, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of attacks are carried out by someone known to the victim, (often her husband or partner) and are every bit as damaging.
With This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me, Rape Crisis Scotland intends to confront these attitudes in a very direct way, and invites members of the public in Scotland to join us in putting an end to blaming women for rape. The campaign comprises a range of images (and supporting materials) which invite you to examine your own attitude to the situations presented, and enter the debate that we hope our campaign will generate.
Women NEVER invite rape, whatever relationship they are in, whatever decisions they have made around drink or dress and whatever level of intimacy they have already engaged in with their attackers. We need to replace the blame and condemnation we currently offer to women who have been raped with support and justice. And we need to assign responsibility where it really belongs – with rapists.