Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice


2:00 pm - July 26th 2012

by Sian Norris    


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“Don’t let a night full of promise turn into a morning full of regret”, says the headline on West Mercia Police’s web page dedicated to tackling rape.

“Did you know”, they ask “if you drink excessively, you could leave yourself more vulnerable to regretful sex or even rape?”

To the women in West Mercia, rape is presented as some kind of natural hazard that we can avoid, keep safe from, by staying sober. In one sentence, the police have reduced the causes of rape to one thing – alcohol.

When, of course, there is only one thing that causes rape. And it isn’t Pinot. It’s rapists.

(Watch: West Mercia police video encourages women to drink less)

By focusing entirely on women’s drinking behaviour, West Mercia police are indulging in a classic case of victim blaming. Don’t get drunk! they warn. You might become a victim of rape! The perpetrator, the single cause of rape, is completely invisible.

To a woman who is raped when she’s been drinking on a night out, the message is clear. You made yourself vulnerable. You let yourself become a victim. And it is this culture of victim blaming that makes it so much harder for women to come forward to report rape, for them to feel they will be believed and not blamed.

The West Mercia police are also running a campaign focusing on men, explaining to them that rape and sexual assault are a crime. It’s therefore a shame that they are pairing it with one that so insistently focuses the responsibility for preventing rape on women’s behaviour as well.

Back in early 2011, when a representative from Bristol Feminist Network asked Avon and Somerset police if they would ever consider running a safety campaign that spoke to perpetrators about not committing violent crimes against women – their answer was such a campaign would be ‘offensive’ to men.

The only people I can think of who would be offended by a campaign telling rapists not to rape are, well, rapists.

What I would like to see are more campaigns like the one in Scotland that speak to men about what they can do to prevent rape.

It isn’t up to women to prevent rape. Because, no matter what West Mercia say, there is nothing we can do to prevent rape. The only person who has the power to prevent rape is the one who chooses not to commit the crime.

Women are raped when they are drunk, when they are sober, when they are wearing jeans, when they are wearing short skirts, when they are outdoors, when they are indoors, when they are at home or at work or at school or at a club.

When they are awake and when they are asleep. Women’s behaviour is not the linking factor when it comes to rape. The rapist’s is.

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About the author
Sian Norris is an occasional contributor. She is a Bristol based writer who likes to write short stories and muse on feminist debates.
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Reader comments


1. flyingrodent

Oh God, not this again.

2. rachel scotland

This is a terrible way to prevent rape, but “regretful sex” is nothing to do with the police and should not be even mentioned on the poster – and it is minimising and disrespectful of WM Police to put the “regretful sex” and “rape” in the same sentence.

Sorry, but I do not think you are accurately representing the advice given. This is not about blaming the victim, it’s about encouraging us all to a bit aware of where we leave ourselves vulnerable., This does not impart blame. The only person ever to blame for a rape is the rapist. Ever. Unquestionably. Not dispensation or reduction in tarrif should ever be given to a arapist because of the the victim’s cercumstances (I’d argue the opposite if anything).

You say only one thing causes rape. But that is in itself a gross over-simplification. Its pretty damn clear that rape (as with many violent crimes) is perpetrated mostly on the vulnerable. People in trouble in society usually and in an already rpecarious position. When you are out drinking a person not usually vulnerable becomes vulnerable.

Again – no blame should ever be attached to any victim of any crime. But we can help ourselves and each other mitigate the risks possed by the horrific people out there.

This is why most groups of women out do not let their friends get left behind, especially when badly drunk.

I think it is entirely right for the police to try their best to encourage us to look out for ourselves.

I take your point on the errors of concentrating on just tackling the female side of things (after all the big issue is of course the rapist). But rape is a crime best solved by prevention – it’s hard to catch a rapist before they rape. The article clearly says how seriously they take rape – but of course you’d hope that paragraph wasn’t their only attempt at rape prevention.

This isn’t about restricting people’s freedoms to be themselves (if this was a ‘don’t dress as a tart’ story I would agree with you wholeheartedly). It’s just about saying – ‘look, there are some evil shits out there, try to look after yourselves’.

Spot on article

West Mercia Police showing as much sensitivity there as Eamonn Holmes did earlier on ‘This Morning’ when he asked the victim of a horrific attack of domestic violence if she had “done anything to deserve the jealousy?”.

Eamonn you are talking to a woman whose husband bit off her nose, have some common sense, basic humanity and compassion. Chauvinist.

Victim blaming from the police, victime blaming from the tv.

Is that poster you linked to a joke?

Although it does do a great job of showing exactly how being on either side of an argument can lead you to make offensive comments (well meaning, but still offensive) and not even realise you’re making them.

I mean, are you telling me that you believe that because I’m male, I need prompts to remind me not to rape? And then you complain that the police don’t understand why suggesting women drinking less might prevent rape? Police saying that drinking makes you more vulnerable is bad, but a poster telling men not to rape you want to see more of? Its not women’s fault they’re raped but it’s men’s fault the majority of rape is carried out by a small minority of their gender? *seriously*?

Having a penis doesn’t mean I have to have it spelled out that I shouldn’t stick it in someone without their permission – I find the suggestion as fucked up, if not more so, than the police’s response you mentioned in your post.

Chris, i think you’re missing the point. That poster is subverting the usual policing of women’s behaviour to ‘stop rape’. That policing is demonstrated by the West Mercia campaign.

It’s not saying that all men need to be reminded to not go around raping people. But that we need to stop policing women’s behaviour and focus on perpetrators. It’s about saying that the usual advice given to women doesn’t prevent rape, it victim blames instead.

It’s not a great comparison, but do you find don’t drink and drive campaigns offensive because they remind all drivers not to commit a crime?

Thank you to all the supportive comments!

I used to believe life was linear – As I get older its seems to be more of a circle shape. The same things repeated over and over again, I thank god there is a hole in the ground waiting for me at the end it.

10. Campaigner

I found that Scottish campaign extremely useful and informative. Why hasn’t this been thought of before!

I intend to conduct a similar campaign to try to stop murderers murdering people, with advice such as “if you see somebody that you don’t like, don’t stab them to death!” and “Instead of shooting your neighbour, try talking to him instead!”

@7 and everyone, – out of interest, and this is a genuine question, what would the perfect anti-rape campaign look like? If the ones we get are offensive and victim blaming, and the ‘this is not an invitation to rape me’ is found to be offensive by some men, what do we do? because i believe that it has to focus on the perpetrator.

It’s like signs in carparks advising people not to leave valuables on view. I mean, can you believe that? Why blame the victims when they should be tackling the car thieves? Pure evil.

All the video is saying is that rapists are sometimes opportunist criminals, and therefore leaving yourself vulnerable by drinking too much will perhaps give them the opportunity to rape people. That doesn’t change the fact that the rapist is to blame for committing the crime.

IN a similar vein, would you argue that posters saying “Lock your vehicle – there could be thieves about” should be replaced with posters saying “if you see a car with an open window, try not to steal from it”?

The WM police webpage isn’t about all rape, it’s about rape in a particular context: a night out.

It’s part of a national campaign, called Short Word, Long Sentence, which began in November, and “aims to encourage women and men to be careful on nights out, remember that ‘No Means No’ and make sure they report any crimes that do happen”. It includes posters like this:

http://ripassetseu.s3.amazonaws.com/www.westmercia.police.uk/_files/documents/nov_09/wmp__1259576663_Rape_Poster1.pdf

So the OP seems to have misinterpreted what WM police are trying to do. The offending webpage alone doesn’t “focus entirely on women’s drinking behaviour”.

That said, perhaps this particular webpage could be worded better. But advice on risk mitigation != victim blaming. For example,

“Someone might take advantage of you if you’re intoxicated” != “It’s your fault, you shouldn’t have got so drunk.”

(aside: sadly, the latter is what a significant proportion of the public seems think.)

“It isn’t up to women to prevent rape. Because, no matter what West Mercia say, there is nothing we can do to prevent rape. The only person who has the power to prevent rape is the one who chooses not to commit the crime. ”

Ok, so you can’t prevent rape, and neither can I because im not a rapist. Im not convinved that many rapists would be interested in reading liberal conspiracy, so who exactly is this aimed at?

“What I would like to see are more campaigns like the one in Scotland that speak to men about what they can do to prevent rape.”

Was this poster aimed at men, or aimed at rapists? You receiving the blame for being raped (which isn’t suggested as far as I’m concerned) is just as wrong as myself being blamed.

Do you think a rapist would stop raping after seeing this poster? I personally doubt it.

“It isn’t up to women to prevent rape. Because, no matter what West Mercia say, there is nothing we can do to prevent rape.”

The message in the video was suggesting ways to make being raped less likely, by not leaving yourseolf in such a vunerable position. Of course your right when you say:

“Women are raped when they are drunk, when they are sober, when they are wearing jeans, when they are wearing short skirts, when they are outdoors, when they are indoors, when they are at home or at work or at school or at a club.”

But rapists will also want to protect themselves from being caught, so will generally choose remote spots and target lone women. Do you disagree with this? Of course if you did present a less “attractive” target it will only end up with some else getting raoped instead, but that’s got to be better than being raped yourself, right?

Although what you say is true, how practical is it to just say “It’s the rapists fault”

If my son was kidnapped it would be the kidnappers fault, but I dont think that would be a consolation if he got kidnapped because i had let him wander about on his own.

Rape is already illegal, what impact will posters reminding people have?

“It’s not saying that all men need to be reminded to not go around raping people. But that we need to stop policing women’s behaviour and focus on perpetrators. It’s about saying that the usual advice given to women doesn’t prevent rape, it victim blames instead.”

Hi Sian, unfortuanetly to have a perpetrator you need to have a victim. Its a little late by then though surely?

@13 (Devi):

I kind of agree, but I think the point here is that a) there’s much more of a history of victim blaming with rape and, because of the psychology involved, the consequences are more severe and b) it’s terribly worded so as to make it seem like victim blaming rather than trying to prevent opportunistic crime.

Perhaps the police would have attracted less ire if they used wording like “Don’t make it easy for them” or something, but that’s still not ideal.

This is not about blaming the victim, it’s about encouraging us all to a bit aware of where we leave ourselves vulnerable.,

Actually – rubbish. Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want?

Sian’s point is spot on – alcohol matters very little when it comes to rape because most rapes don’t take place in such situations.

What needs to be challenged is the willingness to rape, full stop, not telling women they should watch themselves.

. Im not convinved that many rapists would be interested in reading liberal conspiracy, so who exactly is this aimed at?

Er – it’s aimed at the police campaign and the attitudes that encourage such campaigns.

Actually – rubbish. Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want?

The only reason I can think of is that we all have a personal responsibility for our own safety, and we live in a world where horrible people will sometimes try to hurt us.

@11 “what would the perfect anti-rape campaign look like?”

There is no such thing as perfect, but I dont think anything targetting the rapists will have much impact on their behaviour, so who should they target. Do you think this poster would be helpful?

“Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want? Women’s behaviour is not the linking factor when it comes to rape. The rapist’s is.”

It’s not going to prevent rapes, but it may make it a little more bearable. Is that enough?

22. Planeshift

“well meaning, but still offensive) ”

Frankly if you found the scottish poster offensive then I’d get rid of your TV if I were you, and stay away from large crowds.

I found it humerous and funny, and doing exactly what Sian said about subverting the usual advice given to women.

“caught, so will generally choose remote spots and target lone women”

This is just bollocks, and demonstrates you haven’t a clue about rape. Any rapist choosing to do so in a remote spot will almost certainly get caught, as no jury in the world is going to believe the ‘she didn’t know me, and I was wearing a mask, but she still said yes your honour’ defence.

On the other hand the rapist who picks victims up from a bar, or who knows their victim beforehand, will probably almost certainly get away with it as the case will end up coming down to the issue of consent, and there is little a prosecution can do to prove beyond reasonable doubt that consent was withheld.

Which is another reason why the police advice is bollocks – at best all it does it reduce the opportunity for the ‘psycho in the woods’ to find a victim. Unless the policy are seriously suggesting that women don’t go to bars and date people, then their advice will do nothing to prevent people they know from raping them and claiming consent.

“What needs to be challenged is the willingness to rape, full stop, not telling women they should watch themselves.”

How is this achieved, even if you know a solution it wont happen overnight. Can you suggest a stop gap measure?

24. Thornavis

How about the police stop lecturing all of us about crime and actually get on with catching some criminals or is that too much to ask ?
interesting that this post takes the line that there’s only one person to blame for rape, the rapist, I entirely agree, it’s not the usual position of the left on crime though is it ? Normally there’s some mitigating circumstance such as poverty or a deeper malaise like lax gun laws, rape apparently is a crime that stands on its own in this regard.

Devi @13, exactly.

Sunny,

Actually – rubbish. Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want?

No-one here says they shouldn’t be free to do that. What some of us are saying is that if they are shitfaced someone might take advantage of them.

Sian’s point is spot on – alcohol matters very little when it comes to rape because most rapes don’t take place in such situations.

On a webpage titled a Safe Night Out, it seems pretty reasonable it talks about alcohol consumption.

WM police claim “Alcohol features in two thirds of all rapes”. If you think they are idiots, try The Fawcett Society: “Conservative estimates indicate alcohol is involved in 34% of reported rape cases, and drugs in 12% of cases (Finch and Munroe, 2006)” and “A recent study found 49.3% of rape cases reported to the police involved drugs and/or alcohol (alcohol being the primary intoxicant in the vast majority of cases)”.

Dave/15: [rapists] will generally choose remote spots and target lone women. Do you disagree with this?

Well, if you look at the statistics on the relationship of rapists to their victims and where the rapes take place, it appears that’s not the case.

The vast majority of rapes are carried out by someone known to the victim (sometimes someone that they met less than 24 hours ago, but still not a complete stranger) and inside buildings (often the victim’s own house) in residential or commercial areas.

But rapists will also want to protect themselves from being caught

Yes, yes they do. They therefore do not, in general, leap on lone women in remote places where afterwards even the average jury will think “but it was consensual” is an unlikely explanation for their actions.

Rape is already illegal, what impact will posters reminding people have?

It’s unlikely to stop the determined rapist from committing their crimes. On the other hand, there are quite a lot of surveys out there showing that frighteningly large numbers of people are not entirely clear on what rape is.

e.g. http://www.thehavens.co.uk/docs/where_is_the_line.pdf for a fairly recent London-based example.

So an education campaign which made it clear that certain behaviours are in fact rape might well reduce the amount of rape being committed by telling people who do not want to be rapists how to avoid it.

Sure, the sort of person who actively enjoys committing rape precisely because it’s rape isn’t going to be deterred. But I think that’s not the case for the majority of rapists out there.

27. James Bentley

Just to try and remove the understandable sensitivities around this, what if the police made a video imploring both men and women not to drink to excess because they may leave themselves more open to being mugged?

The idea that this plainly sensible advice is “victim-blaming” is utterly absurd. To blame the victim, you actually have to actually, er, blame the victim rather than merely pointing out the fact that drinking to excess clouds your judgment, interferes with your radar for danger and leaves you more vulnerable to crime of all types.

28. Albert Spangler

I dunno, does this mean when we’re told to keep valuables hidden, we’re putting the onus on the victim to take responsibility? Also, aren’t drunk people more vulnerable to crime generally? I’ve heard that a large proportion of people who get mugged are during heavy drinking sessions.

I’m not sure what to take from this, I thought it was self evident the only person responsible for rape is the rapist, but being aware of the risks while drunk could help reduce the chance of being a victim. The video does seem a bit ham fisted in its attempt to get its message across but is it really pinning the blame on victims? The main issue seems to be the language used, which isn’t ideal.

Lambeth council and the Met have been running a ‘Real Men know the Difference’ campaign for aorund 18 months and spanning two Christmases. It has resulted in a 1/3 more reports of sexual violence although there are no numbers as yet on conviction rates (where applicable).

It has covered the difference between flirting and sexual harrassment, buying sex, rape and serious sexual assault and the need for informed consent. There have been posters on the Tube, buses and outside pubs and clubs in the borough and it has been widely discussed in the local press and I’ve only heard positive responses. No men on these forums or that i’ve spoken to have felt patronised as they felt that the campaign wasn’t insulting them but higlighting the consequences for men who were inclined to push their luck. Some even said it was easier to mention poor behaviour toward women because the issue was in the public domain. Women seem to have felt less judged by it.

Women felt more supported as barstaff and bouncers were more attuned to the issue after working with the police and the police were less judgemental upon reporting. The campaign was clear that it was focusing one area of sexual violence, but that consent is vital everywhere in life. It’s generally been regarded as a success. It seems to me that the style of campaign could be repeated nationwide.

I’m sorry if a few men feel patronised, but you can speak up and say you aren’t a rapist and support people working on this issue to prove it if you feel singled out. I couldn’t do much about being branded a ‘vile faced slut’ in the papers when I challenged the Compensation Authority’s decision to cap my pay out as I’d been drinking and not have my case properly investigated because I’d been in a bar. And I know which injustice hurts more.

30. James Bentley

“You should still look to see if cars are coming at a pelican crossing even if the walk signal is showing”

VICTIM BLAMING!!!!

ukliberty/25: Conservative estimates indicate alcohol is involved in 34% of reported rape cases, and drugs in 12% of cases

So alcohol is not involved in 66% of cases, on those estimates? (Which is not to say that getting drunk protects you from rape; just to point out that you can’t conclude much of use at all from that sort of summary statistic)

Having chased up the references, it’s also worth noting that “involvement of alcohol” does not necessarily mean “is drunk”, and does not strictly imply “the victim was drunk” (it could mean “the rapist was drunk”) though the 34% statistic – originally from Kelly, Lovett and Regan 2005 – does appear to refer to the victim only.

It also doesn’t mean that:
– the victim chose to become drunk (spiking drinks with extra alcohol is not uncommon)
– the victim’s drinking was relevant to the rapist attacking them

The original 2005 paper is worth a read in full, though.

32. Shatterface

Actually – rubbish. Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want?

I’ll bear that in mind next time you publish an article demonising drinkers and the alcohol industry.

33. Shatterface

I’m sorry if a few men feel patronised, but you can speak up and say you aren’t a rapist and support people working on this issue to prove it if you feel singled out.

Actually, no I don’t have to say I’m not a rapist, nor do I need to join the campaign to prove it.

34. Dan Factor

I suppose you could say the same thing about police advise about burglary. Most people would not say that advising people not to leave their windows open and doors unlocked is akain to blaming victims of burglary who’s homes got burgled because their windows were open and doors unlocked.

To say giving people advise about how to stay save in this dangerous world is “victim blaming” is off the mark. The police arn’t saying “IF YOU GET RAPED AND YOU WERE DRINKING IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT” they are just telling women to keep safe

Let’s say I get really drunk and decide to wander round Levenshulme at 11 o’clock at night taking pictures of things on my iPad. Some might say that this is a bad idea.

Rubbish! Why shouldn’t I be able to go wherever I like and do whatever I want in any state at any time of the day? If I get mugged, then it’s the fault of the people who chose to mug me. My choices here are completely irrelevant.

@26 @22, Fair points, i hadnt thought of that

@ 12 and anyone else making the frankly stupid analogy between rape and ‘leaving valuables unattended’.

Firstly, women are not houses. When we go out and about, having a drink, living our lives, we are not leaving ourselves ‘open’.

When you understand that it isn’t women’s behaviour that causes rape, then you understand that this all too common analogy is just nonsense.

Women are not cars. We’re not houses. We’re not mobile phones or wallets or any other fancy goods. We are human beings. You cannot compare rape with stealing a car or burgling a house. Women do not leave ourselves ‘unlocked’ and vulnerable by living our lives – walking home from work, having a partner, living in a house, going to work or school or uni, having a drink, wearing clothes, knowing people.

The point is, there are not any precautions women can take to not be raped, because rapes are caused by rapists, not by women’s actions.

So it is not acceptable to tell women that drinking ‘makes them vulnerable’.

So it is not acceptable to tell women that drinking ‘makes them vulnerable’.

yet it is realistic, im sure many woman would agree

cim @31, I don’t disagree with any of your comment. My point was just that alcohol is significant (and we haven’t even mentioned jury attitudes yet) and it’s reasonable to talk about it on a page titled A Safe Night Out.

It also doesn’t mean that:
the victim chose to become drunk (spiking drinks with extra alcohol is not uncommon)

With regard to this in the context of the OP, what are we to make of Detective Superintendent Powell’s advice to “watch your drink when you are out to reduce the risk of someone putting something in it without you knowing”?

Blaming the victim or reasonable advice?

40. Chief Inspector

Chrrrrrrrrrrists!! If you run around town flashing a wad of cash you are going to get mugged. Some friendly advice from a police officer: do not use ATMs after dark, particularly on a late on/early on a Fri/Sat / Sat/Sun. And always be aware of your surroundings. We can all do our bit to prevent crime by taking some sensible precautions.

Dave, sorry to tell you that I’ve posted multiple times on CiF saying that the advice given to everyone should be “Don’t have sex unless you’re absolutely 100% sure the other person wants to have sex.” And I’ve been told multiple times that that’s simply outrageous, and that frankly if everyone waited for their partner to say, “Yes, I definitely want to have sex”, nobody would EVER have sex, and that that would be Bad.

I’ve also been told that most women wouldn’t like it, because it would “take the romance out of it” if women had to say that they definitely wanted to have sex rather than relying on the man to “know” that they wanted to have sex. But I’ve actually had this conversation with loads of women, and the overwhelming majority of them (especially once they’re over 25) say that they completely agree that you should only have sex when your partner has expressed enthusiastic, positive consent.

So yes, actually, there are a lot of men who need to be told about how not to rape.

42. Dan Factor

sianushka. So do you think if you leave valuables unattended and someone steals them it’s your own fault. Becuase if so that would be victim blaming. It’s the criminal who nicked them.

In Law, there is such a concept as “contributory negligence”.

On vulnerability –

There are two things here. The first is that women who actually do what keeps them safe – trusting their own instincts, avoiding men they aren’t comfortable with – get put under a lot of pressure to relent. If you get bad vibes off a friend of a friend and say that you’d rather he didn’t come to your party/get a lift home with you/come back to your flat/other classic situation which men who want to rape can exploit, you’ll often get, “Oh, come on, don’t be daft. He’s a bit odd, but he’s harmless. What, do you think he’s going to rape you or something? You fancy yourself a bit, don’t you?!”

When some bloke stuck his hand down the back of my trousers at a party and I screamed at him, his mate came up to apologise and asked me if I’d go over and make friends with him. (“He’s not like that, honest, he’s got a wife and kids.” I still love the (male) friend who turned to me and said, “I love how he says that like it’s a mitigating factor?”

So you get told you’re supposed to make yourself less vulnerable, but if you actually DO make the decisions that make you less vulnerable, you often get called a stuck-up cunt or that you’re up yourself. A campaign that says, “No means no – even if the question is only, “Can I buy you a drink, love?” or “D’you want a lift home?” would actually be really good.

Second thing about vulnerability: those women who aren’t following the “rules” to keep themselves safe, who are more vulnerable? A lot them are poor, have poor mental health, low self-esteem, have addiction or alcohol issues, are sex-workers, and so on and so forth. It’s not about a choice to make yourself more or less vulnerable: being less vulnerable is usually about having privilege.

That information isn’t helpful because the people who CAN take it, usually already are. The people you are stigmatising are the ones with fewer choices.

45. Thornavis

sianushka @ 37

The problem with that argument, with which I don’t actually disagree, is that rapists do see women as all the inanimate but vulnerable and desirable items that you mention. So minimising risk of rape is as reasonable a response as minimising risk of theft, it’s a much harder thing to do however and difficult to know where the distinction between minimising risk and blaming the victim is exactly.

It does seem rather odd to say to people: don’t try to minimise the risk of falling victim to crime, because there’s nothing you can do to prevent it happening.

Oh Dan Factor. Please stop comparing my vagina to property.

If you want to make a comparison, please use a violent crime which happens to men.

48. Dan Factor

marykmac.

Do you mean a violent crime that happens ONLY to men?

49. Jock Strap

The situation in, to quote the poem “the sexually-repressed shit-hole of a country” know as Scotland the situation is far, far worse. Under the draconian Sexual Offences Scotland Act before commencing a sexual act you would have to obtain what is known as “free agreement”. And, of course, as you would expect “free agreement” can be withdrawn at any time even mid-intercourse. Australia (NSW) is the only country to have enacted such twisted Legalisation. Search for “30 seconds rapist”, incidentally he was framed). Also, it goes without saying that if a partner has consumed alcohol then they are “incapable” of giving consent. Small wonder the Scottish birth rate is plummeting like a stone (well, within the indigenous population anyway). And just to don our tin-foil hat, maybe that it the whole intended point. Whatever, it drives a wedge between the sexes, no wonder the Jocks always look so miserable.

27. James Bentley
Just to try and remove the understandable sensitivities around this, what if the police made a video imploring both men and women not to drink to excess because they may leave themselves more open to being mugged?

Genuine question – why do you think this doesn’t happen? I mean, it does occasionally, but overwhelmingly the “don’t drink to avoid being a victim of crime, don’t wander the streets at night alone” is targetted at women, despite the fact that we know that men are far more likely to be the victims of non-sexual violent crime. So why do you think that advice ISN’T targetted at men and women equally?

I think it’s because people think it’s outrageous to tell men not to go about their normal lives or having fun, but think it’s reasonable to tell women the same thing.

“Why shouldn’t women be free to drink as much as they want to and do what they want?”

The police is perfectly right to advise people on how to avoid becoming victim of a crime: don’t drink yourself senseless; lock your home door and your car and even your bicycle; don’t show around your money when walking in an unknown city; be aware of traffic when you step on a zebra crossing even if you have the right of way.

Genuine question – why do you think this doesn’t happen? I mean, it does occasionally, but overwhelmingly the “don’t drink to avoid being a victim of crime, don’t wander the streets at night alone” is targetted at women, despite the fact that we know that men are far more likely to be the victims of non-sexual violent crime. So why do you think that advice ISN’T targetted at men and women equally?

I don’t think it’s true that the advice is targetted at women and having just googled a few police campaigns about street robbery I seem to be right.

“Why shouldn’t I be able to go wherever I like and do whatever I want in any state at any time of the day? If I get mugged, then it’s the fault of the people who chose to mug me. My choices here are completely irrelevant.”

Reminds me of a friend who on passing his motorcycle test protested his right not to have to slow down at junctions in which visibility for those coming out was limited, his entire emphasis was on him being correct and having right of way, he for some reason or another failed to understand that being on the floor, after a motorcycle accident, with two broken legs in absolute agony, at this stage of the game it really does not matter whose fault it was, as the damage has already been.

Why should you not be able to go where you like at any time and do what ever you like? We live in an imperfect society, there are violent people with bad intentions around, you need to grow up and accept this, you can scream about your right all day long, the person of average intelligence with a bit of street IQ seeks to watch there own back and avoid these situations in the first place.

Your choices are extremely relevant.

54. Dan Factor

“I think it’s because people think it’s outrageous to tell men not to go about their normal lives or having fun, but think it’s reasonable to tell women the same thing.”

Is drinking to excess having fun or going about a “normal” life?

I suppose if you think it is then you would have to say that giving men advise not to drink to excess to avoid being a victim of a violent crime like mugging is blaming men who’ve been mugged after they’ve drunk to excess for being mugged.

The case of Kevin Ibbs (the “30 seconds rapist”) is shocking; this is what happen when you allow extreme feminism to run rampant.

xox,

Well, I agree with you, but please adjust the dial on your irony-scope.

“Well, I agree with you, but please adjust the dial on your irony-scope”

What do you mean?

Dan says

So do you think if you leave valuables unattended and someone steals them it’s your own fault.

Mary says

Please stop comparing my vagina to property.

Priceless….

59. Ambitious J

“This does not impart blame. The only person ever to blame for a rape is the rapist. Ever. Unquestionably”

“It’s just about saying – ‘look, there are some evil shits out there, try to look after yourselves’”

@Sorry:

Yes! I agree with your comment, that is exactly how I feel!

@1 YES! THIS! AGAIN!
IT AMUSES ME!
THOUGH I NOTICE NONE OF YOU HEATHEN SCUM HAVE YET TO CORRECTLY SUGGEST ALL WOMEN WEAR MODESTY CLOTHING, GET TOO IT, OR THERE’LL BE SMITING!

In a perfect world, women (and men) would be able to do whatever they want, wherever they want, with whoever they want, without getting raped (or mugged or murdered).

Giving safety advice isn’t about passing moral judgements about whose fault rape (or anything else) is. It’s about helping people navigate around the fact that this is a very imperfect world.

And I don’t think do whatever you want, because there’s nothing you can do to increase or decrease your risk is a very good piece of advice. At all.

@21

but I dont think anything targetting the rapists will have much impact on their behaviour,

A sniper rifle at the bollocks would be something targeting the rapists that will have a lot of impact on their behaviour.

“A sniper rifle at the bollocks would be something targeting the rapists that will have a lot of impact on their behaviour.”

Do you not have the nerve to deal with things face to face?

Oh look, this again.

Why can’t people understand this isn’t victim blaming? Saying women should take reasonable precautions isn’t the same as saying women have it coming to them if they don’t.

The only thing that will stop rapists is an improvement in conviction rates – I think everyone can agree on that. But that won’t happen overnight, and in the mean-time, what the hell else are police supposed to do?

@63 Who said anything about being at range? P’raps I meant tied to chair with the muzzle of the sniper rifle pressed firmly against their pods.

39/ukliberty: (and we haven’t even mentioned jury attitudes yet)

Well, this is one reason that I think campaigns of the “don’t get drunk or you might be raped” sort are really not a good idea to run.

1) The campaigns don’t reduce the total amount of rape – let’s leave aside for now whether they’re effective in protecting specific individuals from rape by directing a rapist to someone else as irrelevant from a public policy perspective.
2) The attitudes of “drunk: therefore partly responsible” are sufficiently frequent in society that if a jury doesn’t contain 3 or 4 people like that, the random selection was extremely lucky.
3) Those attitudes also don’t help people who do get raped, who may then decide – because that’s what they’ve been told – that it was their fault rather than the rapist’s.

So the net effect of running the campaign is going to be that the same number of rapes take place. On the other hand, having been told [1,2] “don’t get drunk; you might be raped” juries are less likely to be sympathetic to a victim in that situation, and victims are less likely to seek help, because the associated social attitudes get reinforced.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t think that this campaign actually blames victims for their rape. What matters is how the 15-30ish% of society who do think that women who have been (drinking/flirting/wearing the “wrong” clothing) are going to view the campaign.

Regarding DS Powell’s advice … I don’t think that’s victim-blaming in the same way as the alcohol advice, but it’s also not particularly useful as it’s not remotely practical to watch your drink like a hawk the whole time in most environments (I bet DS Powell doesn’t!). More useful would be some tips on what to do if you see someone else’s drink being spiked – you’re far more likely to see it happen to someone else than to yourself, by the nature of the act.

[1] As an aside, it’s worth noting that even in so far as this statement is true, it’s still not that useful. The overwhelming majority of people who get drunk on a night out will not be raped that night. Indeed, the statistics suggest that the majority of people – even a majority of women – who get regularly drunk on a night out are not raped on any of those nights. So as with most “change risk from very unlikely to very very unlikely” pieces of behaviour advice, it’s obviously going to change no-one’s mind about their actions.
[2] Also worth noting: this is such a common piece of advice of dubious utility in general society that the police hardly need to be getting in on the act too!

“Who said anything about being at range? P’raps I meant tied to chair with the muzzle of the sniper rifle pressed firmly against their pods.”

I see, well the tool of choice implied range and as for bodily harm when it comes to punishment, there are to many false accusations for any rational person to be happy with that…

What a load of rubbish. What West Mercia police are doing is treating women like adults, by explaining the risks to them.

I had a colleague who use to walk through a rough neighbourhood with his expensive ipod (it was then) on full display. He was warned this was a bad idea, and was mugged. Then didn’t mean that it was somehow his fault that he was attacked.

you want to take away the right of women to make informed choices, to know about potential risks, to make a point that only matters in gender studies departments. The police are merely pointing out that women are safer if there take certain precautions. They are allowing women to make an informed choice, treating them like adults. You want to treat them like children, taking away their right to be informed. It is not the police who are sexist, it is you.

Oh, not this one again..

Let’s be clear about one thing here, risk reduction campaigns of this kind do not originate in a vacuum. There is actually a reasonably solid body of research evidence, mostly from the US, which clearly identifies alcohol as a significant risk factor in aquaintance rape so, for starters, people could try looking up:

Fisher, B., F. Cullen and M. Turner (2000). The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Hanson, K., and C. Gidycz (1993). “Evaluation of a Sexual Assault Prevention Program.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61:1046—1052.

Schwartz, M., and V. Pitts (1995). “Exploring a Feminist Routine Activities Approach to Explaining Sexual Assault.” Justice Quarterly 12:9—31.

Schwartz, M., and W. DeKeseredy (1997). Sexual Assault on the College Campus: The Role of Male Peer Support. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

So far as a the specifics are concerned, for women regularly getting shitfaced, getting shitfaced to the point where they are unable to resist unwanted sexual advances, hanging out with sexually predatory males – these are American studies so for ‘sexually predatory males’ read Frat Boys – and going to isolated locations, while getting shitfaced and hanging out with Frat Boys significantly increase the risk of rape, sexual assault and sexual coercion.

To compound matters for Mr Plod, the research evidence also shows that women who get raped or sexually assaulted while they’re shitfaced are also less likely to report the attack to the police, less like to report the attack promptly, if they do report it, and much less likely to medical evidence collected, if and when they report the attack. They are also more likely to present the police with problems when it comes to identifying their assailant and account for the majority of cases which fails at the investigation stage because the police either cannot identify a suspect for the limited amount of informaton and material evidence that the victim does manage to provide or because the victim misidentifies a suspect who is then cleared by other evidence.

This is all before we get anywhere the question of the extent to which some police officers still have a pretty shitty attitude towards rape complainants.

So, if the argument here is that the Police should take a more rounded approach to risk reduction and target prevention orientated messages as both women and men, in the latter case around the risks arising from the disinhibiting effects of alcohol and the extent to which it impairs communication, comprhension and judgement, then you certainly have a point.

If, however, your argument boils down to ‘but women should be able to go out, get shitfaced and walk home naked across the local park at 3 O’Clock in the mornign without worrying about being raped’ then you’re pursuing a laudable principle past the point of fucking stupidity and desperately need to reacquaint yourself with reality.

Like it or not, the evidence shows that alcohol is a signifcant risk factor on both sides of rape equation, so one cannot automatically fault the Police for pointing that out to people. Only where the police fails to give due regard to both sides of the alcohol/rape equation when running risk reduction campaigns can they be faulted, and that is true irrespective of which side of the equation they fail to address. Campaigns that target women only, or men only, will inevitably be less effective than campaigns that seek to tackle the issue from both sides.

@ Unity

There is actually a reasonably solid body of research evidence, mostly from the US, which clearly identifies alcohol as a significant risk factor in aquaintance rape

Yes of course, but you are assuming, in pointing this out, that Sian et al want the incidence of rape to be reduced.

I’m not convinced about that- it might tend to dent their belief in the hegemony of the patriarchy………….

cim @66:
1) The campaigns don’t reduce the total amount of rape – let’s leave aside for now whether they’re effective in protecting specific individuals from rape by directing a rapist to someone else as irrelevant from a public policy perspective.

No. Generally, there is no quota of rape – or any other crime – that rapists try to reach, so that if one woman is not raped, then someone else has to get raped instead. Rape, like assault, even mugging and theft, is a crime which is very much driven by an impulse. Avoiding a risk is not “directing” the crime to someone else.

Women should be able to live without fear of rape. Everyone should be able to live without fear of theft, mugging, assault. Nevertheless, what you do yourself DOES have an impact on your risk of becoming a victim.

Sentencing is also too lenient, though with rape the problem is sometimes in proof of what actually happened and that harder punishment makes no difference anyway. With other crime that is less driven by impulse and is more a planned crime, tougher sentencs would work better. Personally, I’d love to see some bicycle thiefs executed by a thousand cuts so that I wouldn’t need to fiddle with the locks every time I start and stop riding.

@ 66 great points.

69/Unity: Well, if you’re going to bring US studies in, it’s only fair if I mention Lisak and Miller 2002 as an example of a study on the behaviour, prevalence, and methods of said “sexually predatory males” which, along with other research by Lisak, suggests that said predators intentionally go for the people they perceive as most vulnerable.

Which means that advice which merely serves to change the relative levels of vulnerability of the potential victims is from a crime prevention perspective pretty much useless.

Now, sure, if no-one at all got drunk the opportunities for these predators probably would be reduced, or more likely they would change their methods, but then if everyone ate five portions of the Daily Mail a day cancer would be cured and that’s not going to happen either.

On the other hand, what about some other risk factors for women for being raped which also cause prosecution to be more difficult and reporting less likely than in “ideal victim” cases. Should the police also advise against these on the same logic? For example: “Having a male partner.” A significant number of rapes are carried out by the victim’s partner, and these are on average reported less often and more likely to be subject to attrition. Should the police be advising women not to have male partners in case they are rapists? If they did give this advice, and women universally followed it, the number of rapes would almost certainly fall (and the proportion of prosecutable rapes would rise). The logic appears to be the same.

Now, sure, many women have male partners who never rape them. But many women get drunk and aren’t raped. We’re about risk minimisation on a population level here, right, not about what’s likely to happen to a single individual?

(Of course, one piece of advice is commonplace and socially accepted, and one is really really not, but the raw logic seems identical in both cases)

‘but women should be able to go out, get shitfaced and walk home naked across the local park at 3 O’Clock in the mornign without worrying about being raped’

I suspect if you did a proper risk profile study that would turn out to be lower risk (in terms of rape, rather than “freezing to death”, anyway) than many actions which are not advised against.

(Anyway, there’s a difference between “as a social ideal this should be possible” and “we recommend you give it a try right now”)

The problem – to all the people comparing this victim blaming campaign with advising ‘sensible precautions’ like ‘don’t leave valuables unattended’ is that being sober is not actually a precaution against being raped.

Firstly, as far as i know, there is no evidence to suggest that women are more likely to be raped when they are drunk (although i have heard stats that suggest rapists are more likely to rape when they are drunk). So therefore there is no link whatsoever between women drinking and being a victim of rape. As i say in the post, the only link between women who are raped is the presence of a rapist.

Of course telling people not to get so drunk that they can’t move is sensible. It’s sensible because getting really pissed is bad for your health and you might get injured. But, considering everything we KNOW about rape, telling women not to drink in case they are ‘more vulnerable’ to rape doesn’t make sense.

Most women are raped by people they know. Women can be raped in their homes. Women are raped in schools, in workplaces, in nightclubs, in alleys – drunk and sober. If we are going to run campaigns that tell women that they need to take responsibility in order to ensure that they are not ‘vulnerable’ to rape, then we are asking women to not live their lives.

And ‘not living a life’ is not a ‘sensible precaution’. It’s not the same as not leaving your mobile phone in view (it’s not the same for loads of reasons but that’s just one).

And that’s why i believe campaigns to prevent rape need to focus on perpetrators. Rape isn’t caused by women being drunk, there is nothing women can do to prevent this crime except never being in the presence of a rapist. The ‘sensible precautions’ advised are not sensible.

We’re not the same as wallets. We’re not doors left unlocked. We are women, and we are being told not to go out, not to walk home after dark alone, not to drink, not to wear what we want, not to flirt with men, not to live our lives because of the actions of some men who choose to rape.

These aren’t sensible precautions. These are the removals of our freedoms because of the violent actions of some men.

Dan Factor

>>Do you mean a violent crime that happens ONLY to men?

No, I mean what I said. If you’re going to make a comparison between another crime and rape, stick to ones that are violent crimes that happen to men. Doesn’t have to be exclusively male victims: campaigns which are aimed at telling men how to avoid rape or other types of sexual assault are fair too. But mugging, whilst potentially a violent crime, is usually aimed at getting property, so let’s exclude that.

So, for example, would you consider the following to have an element of victim-blaming:

BOYS, especially small skinny boys: don’t stand up to the bully at school – you might get your head kicked in! Not victim-blaming, just informing you how to minimise your risks.

GAY MEN: don’t be too gay around big groups of het men who aren’t very secure in their masculinity. Not victim-blaming, just informing you how to minimise your risks.

STRAIGHT MEN: don’t hang around with big groups of mouthy drunk girls, because if one of them starts having a go at a random bloke, it’s you he’s going to take a pop at. Not victim-blaming, just informing you how to minimise your risks.

OLDER MEN: don’t be homeless, and definitely don’t be homeless and alcoholic. Not victim-blaming, just informing you how to minimise your risks.

So, you might have spotted that I’m being slightly facetious here. But these are crimes that are comparable with rape – whereas a stolen car, nicked wallet or burgled house are not.

For a start, we can all see why someone would aspire to own property they can’t afford – most of us won’t ever steal or mug, but the overwhelming majority of us have looked at something we can’t afford and thought, “Oooh, I wish…”

Every time you suggest that rape is equivalent to a property crime, you are suggesting that there is something normal and understandable and human about someone’s desire to have sex with someone without their consent. I’m pretty sure that’s not what you mean to do, but when you compare my vagina to property, that’s what you’re doing.

not to walk home after dark alone, not to drink, not to wear what we want, not to flirt with men, not to live our lives because of the actions of some men who choose to rape.

These aren’t sensible precautions. These are the removals of our freedoms because of the violent actions of some men.

You think advising a woman not to walk home alone after dark isn’t sensible? All of my friends male and female recognise this as a sensible precaution, I cannot fathom why you don’t. You seem to be confusing some points. By making a connection between vunerability and likelihood of attack the police are not trying to stop you living your life, you’re still free to do what you want. Its up to you to create your own balance of personal liberty and personal responsibility for yourself.

Do you have a right to go out without any clothes and not get cold? Or a right to stop eating but not starve?

Yes your not the same as wallets, but if sex is something you choose to give to someone then it is also something that can be stolen. What’s so wrong with the analogy?

77. flyingrodent

The problem – to all the people comparing this victim blaming campaign with advising ‘sensible precautions’ like ‘don’t leave valuables unattended’ is that being sober is not actually a precaution against being raped.

Well, police priorities here are 1) to investigate crimes and arrest offenders and 2) to deter and/or prevent crime, as far as is possible.

I’m not sure what commenters who don’t like this campaign would like the police to do instead, if they want the police to achieve either 1) or 2). Campaigns saying “Rape is a horrific crime for which only the rapist is to blame” could surely encourage people to report crimes or suspicions of crimes, but wouldn’t help at all with 2).

Would it be better if the police didn’t concern themselves with attempts to prevent rape, and instead focused on investigations and arrests?

It seems to me there’s the same old practicality vs politics gulf here. Practically, campaigns like this offer sound, evidence-based advice on risk reduction.

Politically, it seems many would be delighted if the coppers restricted themselves to denouncing rapists.

I imagine the cops would be only too happy to do this – if you’ve ever discussed the issue of sex offences with a copper of either gender, you’ll know what I’m talking about here – but I strongly suspect that this will have less of a direct effect.

Or, maybe they should just keep quiet?

78. the a&e charge nurse

[74] ‘as far as i know, there is no evidence to suggest that women are more likely to be raped when they are drunk (although i have heard stats that suggest rapists are more likely to rape when they are drunk)’ – according to one boffin, ‘Alcohol consumption may cause women to ignore or miss cues that suggest an assault is likely. It may keep a woman from realising that her friendly behavior is being perceived as seduction. (Research studies have shown that men are inclined to misperceive a woman’s friendliness as a sign of sexual interest.)
http://www.interactivetheatre.org/resc/alcohol.html

In the same study, ‘21% of the college women who experienced sexual aggression on a date were intoxicated at the time of the assault. An additional 32% reported being “mildly buzzed.” Thus, a total of 53% were under the influence of alcohol’.

Antonia Abbey, et al (in Alcohol and Sexual Assault) found, ‘approximately one-half of all sexual assault victims report that they were drinking alcohol at the time of the assault, with estimates ranging from 30 to 79%’

The Abbey study says ‘Researchers have used two main approaches to examine alcohol’s role in sexual assault: (1) surveys of victims and perpetrators of sexual assault and (2) laboratory studies that examine alcohol’s effects on human behavior’.

Reliable data capture is obviously important when it comes to forming risk reduction policies although Abbey, et al, found, ‘Even the best-constructed surveys, however, have limitations. When studies are conducted years after the sexual assault occurred, a person’s recall may be inaccurate, especially when the person was intoxicated at the time of the assault. Moreover, some participants may provide a some-what distorted account of the events in order to avoid personal embarrassment. Finally, the surveys conducted to date vary in quality (e.g., sample size and validity of measures).

The victims’ ‘Personality Characteristics, Attitudes, and Experiences’ were considered. The Abbey researchers found, ‘Women who have been sexually assaulted are more likely than are other women to have experienced childhood sexual abuse, to have frequent sexual relationships, and to be heavy drinkers. Explanations of these findings focus on the long-term effects of child-hood victimisation. Some victims of childhood sexual abuse cope with the resulting stress and negative emotions through early and frequent sexual relations and heavy drinking. These women may also be more likely to drink alcohol in potential sexual situations as a means of coping with their ambivalent feelings about sex. In turn, drinking in potential sexual situations increases women’s risk of being sexually assaulted, both because sexually assaultive men may view them as easy targets and because the women may be less able to resist effectively.

cim,

Now, sure, if no-one at all got drunk the opportunities for these predators probably would be reduced…

Careful now: victim-blaming there.

sianushka,

The problem – to all the people comparing analogising this victim blaming campaign risk mitigation advice with advising ‘sensible precautions’ like ‘don’t leave valuables unattended’ is that being sober is not actually a precaution against being raped.

No-one is saying being sober prevents rape. The claim is that being shitfaced puts one at greater risk – makes one more vulnerable. If you accept that it does – which seems a rational thing to accept – then it follows that not getting shitfaced is potentially a good idea.

cim is quite right to question the effectiveness of such campaigns – I don’t know how effective they are or how to measure it. Certainly if such campaigns made things worse we wouldn’t want to do them. But people are wrong to question the principle behind the advice.

marykmac,

But mugging, whilst potentially a violent crime, is usually aimed at getting property, so let’s exclude that.

Mugging, or ‘street robbery’, involves violence or the threat of violence.

Street robbery often occurs in and around transport hubs, where commuters, often lone women are targeted. Many robberies happen when people check their phones just after leaving underground stations, or when they are going about their business and may be distracted. Adults who have consumed alcohol and have less awareness of their surroundings are also more vulnerable. We are not asking the public not to use their phones or media players in public – we are just advising them to be vigilant about where and when they use them.

What bastards the Met are for blaming victims of street robbery.

marykmac @ 75

” But mugging, whilst potentially a violent crime, is usually aimed at getting property, so let’s exclude that.”

All crime is essentially crime against property, there is no more fundamental property right than the right to ownership of your own body. The false distinction between crimes against property and crimes against the person leads both to assuming the former to be less important and the placing of the latter in a special category that removes all responsibility from the victim for ensuring their own security.

UKliberty – I said was that there is no point comparing rape with crimes aimed at gaining property with rape, so to counter that you … compare rape with crimes aimed at gaining property? I think I’m missing your point?

Thornavis – I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the falseness of that distinction.

Are people genuinely arguing that the frequency of rape is fixed by some mysterious immutable law, so that, if women try to take sensible precautions to avoid being in dangerous situations, it doesn’t actually matter because there exists a mechanism that will cause someone else to fall victim instead?

Does this work for other crimes too, or is it just rape?

“Walking through this scary housing estate at 11.30 while dressed like obnoxious prats from Vice magazine might be a bad idea, Jeremy.”

“No, Isabella–actually, you’re wrong. Firstly, it’s not our fault if we get jumped. Anyway, it’s a free country and no one’s the boss of me–I do what I want. Secondly, even we can avoid getting jumped by taking a different route back from the party, it doesn’t matter, because someone else will get attacked instead.”

“They will?”

“Yeah, of course. Isn’t it obvious? So on balance, it doesn’t really make any difference.”

“Uhhhh…”

vimothy But have you ever seen a police campaigns saying, “Don’t walk through scary housing estates whilst dressed as obnoxious twats from Vice magazine”? I haven’t.

To me, there’s a significant difference between the decisions and conversations people have privately about their personal safety and the messages that official bodies choose to publish. I reckon most women make decisions about their safety all the time: I don’t think that the police telling us what we should and shouldn’t do is helpful to anyone.

Actually, if these kind of campaigns are so effective, I’m surprised nobody’s complaining that it’s discriminatory that there aren’t more telling men how to avoid being victims of violent crime. Are there any campaigns telling men not to walk home alone? I’ve not seen any, but then they wouldn’t be directed at me.

marykmac,

At 47, you said, “If you want to make a comparison, please use a violent crime which happens to men”. At 75, “If you’re going to make a comparison between another crime and rape, stick to ones that are violent crimes that happen to men”.

For whatever reason, there doesn’t appear to be a campaign against general street violence. There is however a campaign about street robbery, which involves violence against men and women, so I quoted some real advice (as opposed to making it up and then saying how stupid the made-up advice is). I’m sorry it’s inconvenient to your argument.

82/vimothy: No. What people are arguing is more subtle than that.

Let’s say that a particular busy shopping centre is known for pickpockets, since analogies with theft seem to be popular here.

Advising people to keep an eye on their valuables will not significantly reduce the total rate of pickpocketing. The pickpockets will always be going for whoever they see as the easy targets.

Advising people not to visit the shopping centre may reduce the total rate of pickpocketing (just as the police somehow successfully advocating widespread political lesbianism would probably reduce the rate of rape) but is not going to be advice the police give (and the shopkeepers would be more than a little annoyed…)

Taking steps to reduce the number of pickpockets in the shopping centre would be something useful that the police could do.

(Now, if you must continue with this analogy, please say why “don’t get drunk” is good advice for the police to give and “don’t have a boyfriend or husband” is not, given that identical logic can be used for both)

ukliberty – No, there was a reason why I excluded crimes aimed at getting property, as per my last paragraph of 75. My vagina isn’t property, and any comparison which puts “having sex with me without my consent” on the same level as “helping yourself to my wallet” rather than “kicking me hard multiple times in the back and leaving me bleeding and lying on the street with no apparent gain to the kicker” makes no sense to me.

So this is a real question: why do you think rape and sexual assault is treated more like a crime like street robbery – aimed at gaining property, overwhelmingly perpetrated by strangers against strangers – than another violent crime with no intent to obtain property?

>>Advising people to keep an eye on their valuables will not significantly reduce the total rate of pickpocketing. The pickpockets will always be going for whoever they see as the easy targets.

Although it does increase people’s sense of having a control over whether they get pickpocketed or not. And makes it more likely that if you do get pickpocketed, you go home kicking yourself and thinking, “I’m such a bloody idiot – I should have paid more attention! There were even signs! Aaargh, what a stupid thing to do!”

Which is something I think we’ve all felt about a minor, non-violent crime like pickpocketing, and it’s not fun. But it pales in comparison to the sense of guilt and responsibility and humiliation that anyone who has been seriously assaulted feels – whether it’s a sexual assault or a non-sexual one – and anything that contributes to that is NOT helping women. One of the horrid things about proponents of this kind of campaign is that in their eagerness to prevent more women becoming victims of rape, they are remarkably cavalier about how utterly shit they make existing survivors of rape feel. The costs are just totally discounted in the belief that there must be some benefit.

Wow, an analogy with theft that I can get behind! 🙂

88. the a&e charge nurse

[85] ‘Advising people to keep an eye on their valuables will not significantly reduce the total rate of pickpocketing’ – what have you based this assertion on (I don’t know the answer either way).

Are these posters a further example of flagrant victim blaming – and more to the point are juries less likely to convict pickpockets because commuters are blatantly flaunting whatever it is pickpockets are nicking off them?
http://shkspr.mobi/blog/index.php/2012/01/british-transport-police-pickpockets-qr-code/

@86 – My vagina isn’t property.

Property is a thing or things belonging to semebody. A vagina is a thing, and as you refer to it as “my” you suggest it belongs to you.

@74: “being sober is not actually a precaution against being raped. ”

What? Of course it is. What you are saying is like “using a condom is not actually a preccaution against pregnancy”.

It is not a precaution that helps in all cases, sure. But for rapes, as West Mercia police quite reasonably points out, it does help in very many of cases.

Also, being sober is not a 100% foolproof precaution against being assaulted. But being severely intoxicated is a big risk factor both for becoming the victim and becoming the offender in assaults, because when people are drunk, they tend to fight. Likewise for robbery: not showing around your wad of cash and iPad does not guarantee that you are not mugged, but it sure helps.

All these are things where the police tries to advice the public, both in Britain and elsewhere, and that is quite OK.

marykmac

Why do you think an making an analogy of A and B means the person is saying A is the same as B?

ukliberty – which part of “that analogy doesn’t work for me for detailed reasons x, y and z” is unclear?

Analogies work if you think there’s a parallel even though there are differences, and don’t work if you think there differences are sufficiently big that the parallel is invalid. . I keep telling you that this analogy doesn’t work for me and giving you detailed reasons why it doesn’t work. I don’t think you can persuade me to find it valid if I don’t.

Did you know that if you drink too much you are more likely to be a victim of crime or get into dangerous situations?

On a typical Friday and Saturday night, three quarters of all accident and emergency attendances are alcohol-related. Almost half of all violent crime is alcohol-related, as are 80 per cent of pedestrian deaths on a Friday and Saturday night. One in three reported rapes happens when the victim is drunk.

If you’re planning a night out, think ahead, stay safe and know your limits:

Drink sensibly and stay with your friends.
Plan in advance how you will get home.
Save the number of a licensed taxi firm in your mobile phone.
Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.
If there’s trouble while you’re out, stay well clear of it.
Avoid walking alone through dark or unsafe areas (men as well as women).
Keep your belongings with you and your valuables out of sight.
Don’t drink and drive, and remember you may still be over the limit the morning after a big night out.

Thames Valley police, blaming the victim…

94. Shatterface

The problem – to all the people comparing this victim blaming campaign with advising ‘sensible precautions’ like ‘don’t leave valuables unattended’ is that being sober is not actually a precaution against being raped.

You are confusing the word ‘precaution’ with ‘guarantee’ – deliberately, I suspect.

95. Thornavis

marykmac @ 81

“Thornavis – I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the falseness of that distinction.”

If you don’t want to explain why you think there’s a distinction I can’t make you but I would be genuinely interested to know why you think this. So far your argument seems to be that because there are degrees of seriousness in the nature of property crimes and crimes of violence the two are therefore quite distinct, a logical fallacy I think, also what Dave said at @ 89.

@ 92. marykmac

The analogy doesn’t ‘work for you’ because it just doesn’t support your contention.

You haven’t actually provided a clear argument why, in terms of crime prevention campaigns, crimes against property should be treated differently to crimes against the person, other than you feel offended by the idea of you or your vagina being considered property. You are welcome to feel that but it doesn’t undermine the analogy.

If there is advice available that will help people to keep themselves and their property safer then it should be published/promoted.

Cim,

Well, you say that your reasoning is more subtle, but then you go on to state that,

Advising people to keep an eye on their valuables will not significantly reduce the total rate of pickpocketing.

But this is precisely what I was mocking.

Let’s imagine a situation in which your outcome holds, and then see how realistic the assumptions we’ve made are.

Pickpockets start the day with a target or quota that they have to hit, and don’t stop until they’ve hit it. Targets are completely inelastic, i.e., it doesn’t matter how costly it is to the pickpockets, they absolutely must hit them and cannot be deterred in any way. Upon hitting the target, they immediately stop picking pockets, and retire back to their Fagin-esque lair.

Under these circumstances, maybe you’ve got a point.

ukliberty – I don’t – analogies either work for you if you think the parallels outweigh the differences, or don’t work if you think the parallels outweigh the differences. I don’t think that analogy works. I don’t think you’re going to be able to persuade me to change my mind – although cim did a pretty good job.

Dave – OK, if you want to define body parts as property, that’s eccentric but let’s roll with it. In which case, the crimes of assault or rape are still not “theft of [body part]” or “intention to permanently deprive owner of [bodypart]”. So an analogy that compares someone assaulting me with someone stealing my wallet still isn’t working for me.

If it’s that hard to find a violent, non-theft crime where the police offer the same sort of crime reduction advice that they offer to women about rape – maybe there’s a reason for that?

marykmac,

You wrote,

any comparison which puts “having sex with me without my consent” on the same level as “helping yourself to my wallet” rather than “kicking me hard multiple times in the back and leaving me bleeding and lying on the street with no apparent gain to the kicker” makes no sense to me.

– “on the same level”

If “on the same level” does not mean “same as” or “very similar to”, what does it mean?

No-one’s saying it’s on the same level, by the way. That’s a meaning you are inferring.

Are there any campaigns telling men not to walk home alone? I’ve not seen any, but then they wouldn’t be directed at me.

“Avoid walking alone through dark or unsafe areas (men as well as women).” – Thames Valley police.

Vaginas and wallets are similar in the sense they are both made of skin, and you can place objects in them.

Although its worth noting that although keeping money in a vagina increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome, there is still a risk of getting toxic shock syndrome anyway so it isn’t sensible advice.

Dave – OK, if you want to define body parts as property, that’s eccentric but let’s roll with it. In which case, the crimes of assault or rape are still not “theft of [body part]” or “intention to permanently deprive owner of [bodypart]“. So an analogy that compares someone assaulting me with someone stealing my wallet still isn’t working for me.

I dont want to define a vagina as property, the english language does.

I made an analogy between theft and rape (can’t even remember if I did but ach weel), not because they both fit the dictionary definition of theft but because they are both:

things you wouldn’t want to happen
things that happen intentionally when one person attacks another
things that are the perps fault, though also things that can be reduced by the behaviour of the victim

103. Thornavis

marykmac

“Dave – OK, if you want to define body parts as property, that’s eccentric but let’s roll with it. In which case, the crimes of assault or rape are still not “theft of [body part]” or “intention to permanently deprive owner of [bodypart]“. So an analogy that compares someone assaulting me with someone stealing my wallet still isn’t working for me.”

Another logic failure. If, say, someone vandalises my garden they are not depriving me of it permanently but they are depriving me of some of its enjoyment as well as costing me money which is indeed analogous to stealing my wallet. Exactly the same is true of rape although obviously to a much greater degree, your body is the most valuable thing you own any damage or trespass upon it is therefore the worst form of property crime that can happen to you. I suspect that you have a problem with this as you instinctively recoil from the idea of a body as property, property being a dirty word to a lot of people these days.

cim,

Advising people to keep an eye on their valuables will not significantly reduce the total rate of pickpocketing.

Of course it will!

If more people zip up their pockets, hold on to their bags a bit tighter, and keep an eye out for dodgy geezers, the thieves will have fewer potential targets, and will stand a higher chance of failing or getting caught. Ergo a reduction in the total rate of pickpocketing.

Which is why e.g. Leeds train station has a sign saying “watch out for pickpockets”.

However I shall be writing to the stationmaster demanding that he takes this sign down, since I am offended by such outrageous victim-blaming.

Are there any campaigns telling men not to walk home alone? I’ve not seen any, but then they wouldn’t be directed at me.

Personal safety advice for men, from Avon and Somerset police:

Don’t be flash with your cash or mobile phones. Keep their use discreet and put them away after use. Don’t carry them in an obvious manner
Always keep your briefcase or bag in view
Walk purposefully and try to appear confident. Be wary of casual requests from strangers, like someone asking for a cigarette or change – they could have ulterior motives
Try not to carry your wallet in your back trouser pocket where it is vulnerable and in clear view
Never hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers
Avoid dark, deserted streets. Plan your route home after a night out; consider pre-booking a taxi or arrange a lift from a friend. Always make sure you have enough money to get home
Be aware of your surroundings – avoid using personal headsets as you might not be able to hear trouble approaching
Steer Clear of Trouble – if you see any trouble or suspect that it might be about to start – keep clear. The best thing you can do is to alert the police and keep away.

97/vimothy: Ah, but there is a different set of assumptions that also work:

Our pickpockets have a certain time period in which they will pick pockets. At the end of that time period, the shopping centre closes and they go home with their takings, however much that happens to be. There are hundreds if not thousands of times more people passing through the centre than they can possibly individually pick the pocket of.

Therefore until the proportion of shoppers rises to such a high proportion of the total population that the number of people who could be pickpocketed is around the same as the number of people a pickpocket can physically pick the pockets of in the time constraint, uncoordinated raises in individual’s level of anti-pickpocket precautions don’t reduce the crime rate significantly.

That strikes me as a reasonable model of rapist behaviour. They want to rape one person a night (and quite possibly less often than that) [1]. But on a night out they will meet tens or perhaps hundreds of potential victims. So unless all of them are staying in, perfectly sober, in their fortress-convent, to avoid the rapists, whether or not a particular person gets drunk or stays sober will not affect the crime rate. [2]

It may, which I don’t dispute, affect which person is the victim, but that’s not useful for public policy. And as marykmac points out, for both this – now rather stretched – pickpocketing analogy and for rape itself, the people the advice doesn’t protect are more likely to blame themselves for “not doing the right thing”.

And so advice which is clearly not going to be followed by the critical number (almost everyone) in the population such as “don’t get drunk”, “don’t have a boyfriend”, “don’t leave the house”, etc. – leaving aside that if everyone did do that we’d be living in a weird dystopia – is not going to be useful for crime reduction.

[1] Strictly, they probably want to have sex with one person a night, but their complete disregard for the other person’s wishes means that inevitably on some of those nights they are rapists, rather than them specifically setting out in an evening thinking “I’ll rape someone tonight”. But the precise details of their motivations are not particularly relevant here (though are relevant for convincing them not to commit rape in the first place).

[2] Well, okay, it would also be a reasonable crime reduction strategy if almost every man on a night out was looking for a woman to rape. That’s fairly clearly not the case either.

104/Larry: I have read – long enough ago that I can’t remember where, sadly – that at least some pickpockets make use of those signs as part of their activities. Upon seeing such a sign, many people will instantly check their pockets and reveal where they are carrying their valuables. The number of people who then actually secure their valuables more strongly is outweighed by the number of people who have forgotten the sign exists a couple of minutes later.

My concern is not so much whether the signs and posters are directly victim-blaming but whether victims will after the fact read them as such, and whether people who might be inclined to directly victim-blame on the same grounds will find that their beliefs are validated by them. I think on those grounds they do more harm than good in the case of rape. Probably much less so in the case of pickpocketing – so I wouldn’t recommend writing to the stationmaster for that reason – because society-wide victim-blaming of pickpocketing victims is far less prevalent and serious than society-wide victim-blaming of rape victims.

Which is, incidentally, one reason why analogies with other crimes don’t work out very well. The general strength of victim-blaming is completely different, so the context of a piece of advice which may be read as victim-blaming is completely different too.

As marykmac pointed out at 87, the pickpocketing analogy doesn’t work so well on the victim side. (Which is why I’ve been trying to keep my use of it to the criminal and police sides)

108. Vagina Monologue

@Markykmac, its not the Crown Jewels you have between your legs – its only a vagina for crying out loud… a vagina is a vagina is a vagina… there are 3 BILLION human vaginas on this planet… once you’ve seen one vagina you’ve seen them all 🙂 Put a pair of knickers on it like a good girl and try to ignore it 🙂

It seems obviously wrong-headed to me to imagine that the incidence of crime is unrelated to the cost to the criminal of committing crime, as if criminals are highly determined supermen, who always succeed no matter the obstacles thrown in their way.

It’s easy to see that the shoppers can influence the amount of pickpocketing: just have them walk around flashing their money about in an absent minded fashion and talking loudly in foreign accents. The result will be that, since it’s easier to pick the pockets of these shoppers, more pockets will get picked. I mean, this is not rocket science.

Since shoppers can increase the amount of pickpocketing by behaving in ways that allow criminals to pick pockets at a higher rate, it must also be the case that this works in the opposite direction. The only questions relate to the marginal reduction in crime vs the marginal cost of changing shopper behaviour, i.e., where are you on the curve at any given moment. Again, not rocket science.

It also seems to me obviously wrong-headed to imagine that rapists set out of an evening with the idea of raping, and think to themselves, “well, I don’t care what happens, but I’m definitely going to do it once–someone’s going to get it”. Then they select from an in principle inexhaustible pool of potential victims. Is this really how you think criminals work? How crime works? Isn’t it much more likely that they’re opportunists rather than highly motivated Stirnerites who make careful plans in advance?

All property is theft (and that includes vaginas 🙂 )

Vagina Monologue, don’t be a prick.

112. the a&e charge nurse

[106] there may be a number of factors that correlate with rape – some in the great scheme of things are harder to avoid (such as long term relationships, marriage, etc) some are easier to avoid such as getting legless, or going back to somebody’s place minutes after you have met them.

Now there is no guarantee that these measures will stop all rapes, nobody is suggesting they will, but there may be a reduction given that a significant proportion of rapes follow casual relationships.

Similar messages are emerging outside of a police setting – for example, some campuses are now saying (amongst other things);
*Most acquaintance rapes involve alcohol.
*Exercise caution when dating.
*Be aware of your verbal and non-verbal actions.
*Leaving a party with someone you have just met could be dangerous.
*Avoid excessive alcohol in a dating situation.
http://www.wpi.edu/offices/police/acquaintance.html

Is this simply more wrong headed advice?

113. Loadsamoney

Why shouldn’t I be able t walk around the streets flashing my huge wad of cash and not be mugged?? Surely it is everyone’s right to flash their cash??

Vagina Monologue, don’t be a prick.

Can I have permission to print this on a t shirt? I wonder how much a scratch ‘n’ sniff version would cost

115. Casanova

If booze hadn’t been invented we as a species would have become extinct a long, long time ago. Seriously, has anyone (marykmac included) ever had sex whilst stone-cold sober or doesn’t alcohol always “oil the wheels of passion”.

116. Vagina Monlogue

@ Dave 114 Permission granted 🙂

117. Shatterface

ukliberty – I don’t – analogies either work for you if you think the parallels outweigh the differences, or don’t work if you think the parallels outweigh the differences. I don’t think that analogy works. I don’t think you’re going to be able to persuade me to change my mind – although cim did a pretty good job

I don’t think you understant the concept of analogy at all – and Christ knows how literal your short stories are – so I’ll quote the wiki definition we are employing here: an inference or an argument from one particular to another particular, as opposed to deduction, induction, and abduction, where at least one of the premises or the conclusion is general.

Do you actually understand that?

Its nothing to do with being identical, or something close to being identical, its about drawing significant parallels.

Crop rotation isn’t about spinning around like the rotation of a wheel: there are more differences than similarities – one involves the cyclical growth of plant life over time, one is the spinning of an artifact around a fixed point in space – but the concept of rotation is analogous.

You seem to be being deliberately obtuse.

118. Market Trader

@ cim “Watch out folks, pickpockets are about” 🙂 “Check where you put your purses and wallets” 🙂

119. Market Trader

@ cim “Watch out folks, pickpockets are about” 🙂 “Check where you put your purses and wallets” 🙂

120. marykmac

@96 Adam

>>You haven’t actually provided a clear argument why, in terms of crime prevention campaigns, crimes against property should be treated differently to crimes against the person, other than you feel offended by the idea of you or your vagina being considered property. You are welcome to feel that but it doesn’t undermine the analogy.

Actually, I thought cim’s comment at 85 and my comment at 87 did exactly that. The benefits of warning potential victims of pickpocketing to beware pickpockets may be that there are fewer pockets picked; a possible cost is that victims of pickpockets are more likely to blame themselves for being idiots if they get pickpocketed. When it comes to pickpocketing, that’s a reasonable cost to balance against the benefit, in my opinion.

The potential benefits of warning potential victims of rape to beware rapists are that there will be fewer rapes; the costs are that people who are raped will blame themselves, AND that people who have been raped many years previously may feel traumatised again. (“People” not “women” – male victims are at least as likely and probably more likely to feel shame and humiliation and guilt about being raped.)

I think those are pretty staggering costs, and make it necessary to treat violent crimes differently from property crimes. Guilt and humiliation are normal reactions to rape and serious sexual assault, and ones which are often cited as the reasons why victims don’t report rape to the police. So anything that accentuates that seems pretty counter-productive to me. You are welcome to disagree, but I think that’s where most people who dislike these campaigns are coming from.

And I accept that there are police campaigns aimed at men telling them to drink less to avoid being victims of crime in general or involved in violent crime. I do think that the stigma attached to being a victim of non-sexual violent crime is much less than the stigma of being a victim of rape or a serious sexual offence, though, so the cost-benefit still isn’t exactly the same.

Everyone who is now saying things like “wallets and vaginas are both for putting things in” “all property is theft and that includes vaginas” – thank you. When I am looking out for my safety, men saying things like that is a really helpful indicator for me.

“And I accept that there are police campaigns aimed at men telling them to drink less to avoid being victims of crime in general or involved in violent crime.”

You don’t really have a choice, a fact is a fact. But that is good of you.

“Everyone who is now saying things like “wallets and vaginas are both for putting things in” “all property is theft and that includes vaginas” – thank you. When I am looking out for my safety, men saying things like that is a really helpful indicator for me.”

I thought the point was you didnt need to look out for your safety, because rapes cannot be prevented?

But I accept and appreciate your thanks. I’m always happy to provide the oppurtunity for people to claim the moral high ground

122. marykmac

115 – Casanova, you don’t see a difference between consensual sex and rape? That’s … not a good look.

@ 120. marykmac

The primary purpose of the campaign is to reduce rapes. How do you weigh up the costs when you say,

The potential benefits of warning potential victims of rape to beware rapists are that there will be fewer rapes; the costs are that people who are raped will blame themselves, AND that people who have been raped many years previously may feel traumatised again. (“People” not “women” – male victims are at least as likely and probably more likely to feel shame and humiliation and guilt about being raped.)

I think those are pretty staggering costs,

I would say that if even one woman was saved from being raped it would be worth it.

I honestly can’t imagine a victim of rape saying, “I would rather see women more vulnerable to rape than have me feelings hurt”. Which is, in effect, what you’re saying.

I’m going to do a little devils advocate here so bear with me.

If you leave your windows open and go out, then return to find your house burgled, who is to blame? The burgler. We are told to secure windows n doors as a way to minimise risk, we don’t have to but it can reduce the risk.

This advice from West Mercia Police runs in the true nature of preventative advice. If you wish to reduce the risk, because remember that the easier target will always be chosen, then they provide advice based on what they get from investigation (in theory).

So I say the West Mercia ad is normal and, although not a great ad in itself, is well intentioned. Having said that I think the Scottish anti rape ad is almost, if not completely, genius and running the two simultaneously would be better than one rather than the other.

Oh and as a man, I don’t find the Scottish ad in the least bit offensive.

125. Shatterface

Actually, I thought cim’s comment at 85 and my comment at 87 did exactly that. The benefits of warning potential victims of pickpocketing to beware pickpockets may be that there are fewer pockets picked; a possible cost is that victims of pickpockets are more likely to blame themselves for being idiots if they get pickpocketed. When it comes to pickpocketing, that’s a reasonable cost to balance against the benefit, in my opinion.

Wow.

I mean, fuck me – WOW!

So its not about preventing rapes, its about making women who have been raped feel better even if more women are raped as a consequence.

Holy fuck.

126. Shatterface

Should have included this:

The potential benefits of warning potential victims of rape to beware rapists are that there will be fewer rapes; the costs are that people who are raped will blame themselves, AND that people who have been raped many years previously may feel traumatised again. (“People” not “women” – male victims are at least as likely and probably more likely to feel shame and humiliation and guilt about being raped.)

Because if someone had mentioned male rape earlier no doubt we’d have had an outbreak of O THINK OF TEH MENZ!! LOL!!! like we usualky do when a man mentions men can be victims too.

127. Shatterface

The potential benefits of warning potential victims of rape to beware rapists are that there will be fewer rapes; the costs are that people who are raped will blame themselves, AND that people who have been raped many years previously may feel traumatised again. (“People” not “women” – male victims are at least as likely and probably more likely to feel shame and humiliation and guilt about being raped.)

I suspect the ‘everyone’ you are referring to share the same IP address.

128. Shatterface

Shit, meant this quote:

Everyone who is now saying things like “wallets and vaginas are both for putting things in” “all property is theft and that includes vaginas” – thank you. When I am looking out for my safety, men saying things like that is a really helpful indicator for me.

129. Daniel Factor

marykmac. I am not really comparing rape with property theft. I am saying if we are saying that it is victim blaming to offer advice about reducing the risks of being the victim of one crime we should apply the same viewpoint about advice about avoiding being the victim of other crimes.

“The potential benefits of warning potential victims of rape to beware rapists are that there will be fewer rapes; the costs are that people who are raped will blame themselves, AND that people who have been raped many years previously may feel traumatised again. (“People” not “women” – male victims are at least as likely and probably more likely to feel shame and humiliation and guilt about being raped.”

People blame them selves in all sorts of traumatic situations, its a part of human psychology, the death of a loved on or friend can create an incredible amount of self blame and guilt if one is remotely connected to the circumstances, or if there is no connection we find something to feel guilt and blame for.

Rape is an horrendous crime which leaves massive damage, its understandable those who have experienced such a thing would be sickened at the suggestion they played a part in there own undoing, so the following is not directed at those.

Its more of a perception I have always had in connection to females who have not been raped and, well, go ballistic when common sense advice is handed to them. Women for the most part, there are no consequences to there behaviour in society ( I am well aware of domestic violence and that is not what I am thinking of here ) they can slap a man in the face, hit him in the groin etc and its not taken seriously, if a man strikes a women in a pub he will be instantly set upon by other males seeking to protect her, yet the other way around and its laughed about.

From prison sentences to the reaction received to there behaviour, everything has much less consequence, women are used to doing what they want when they want and getting away with it.

That is just how our society is, for a man on the other hand who would receive a violent kicking or may even be killed if he gets cheeky with the wrong guys at a night club, or a prison sentence for any form of fighting in public…the consequences here are very different, having to face these consequences is what I think allows a man to hear advice about protecting him self and accept that without being offended, even if he has the right not to be attacked, living with a different set of consequences he understands he needs to be proactive and watch his own back.

Where as women are protected, even from the consequences of there own wrong doing at times, there for when they hear similar advice on protecting them selves, they think its an attack and victim blaming….because its there perception its not for them to do these things, society protects them.

And so it Should! But it can not 100%, men are more exposed to the violence and consequences, hence the difference in attitudes.

131. Casanova

@ marykmac On the contrary, my Dear Mary, One is a Master of Seduction, my Charms are Fatal, Sweet Princess 🙂

@109

It also seems to me obviously wrong-headed to imagine that rapists set out of an evening with the idea of raping, and think to themselves, “well, I don’t care what happens, but I’m definitely going to do it once–someone’s going to get it”.

Date rape drugs?
Just sayin.

@86

So this is a real question: why do you think rape and sexual assault is treated more like a crime like street robbery – aimed at gaining property, overwhelmingly perpetrated by strangers against strangers – than another violent crime with no intent to obtain property?

Some forms of toxic masculinity view sex as something that is taken from or done to someone, as opposed to something you do with and for them. Once your choice of sexual partners become the antagonists in the sex-game, sex becomes actively masculinizing because it means having men “conquer” and “vanquish” their sexual partner; when sex happens, it means the man won.
The problem with this is that the interpretation that sex is antagonistic puts rape on a continuum with actual sex. When sex is not ever considered to be actually mutually consensual, but rather something that a man tricks or pressures someone into doing, rape simply becomes the most extreme form of “getting sex”; and the concept of date rape becomes invisible altogether, since without the concept of true consensus, the only difference between sex and rape is physical force. It’s also why you often get to meet Mr. How do I not rape someone it is so difficult in threads discussing rape.

So that’d be my guess as to why rape is being confused as a ‘violent theft’.

134. the a&e charge nurse

[133] are you having a Thermos moment?

135. Charlieman

Returning to the OP, which is about a particular advertisement. I can follow that some people might find it patronising or that others consider it a buck passing exercise. Perhaps that is because the commentators are not the target audience for this advertisement?

The advertisement is being broadcast because some rape victims do not twig that drunkenness makes people more vulnerable. It is a general broadcast because it is a challenging one to target; vulnerable people cannot be targeted on the basis of class, educational attainment etc. If you think that the advertisement is irrelevant to you, ignore it and get on. But acknowledge that it might be a wake up to some people.

It’s an obvious point but men and transgendered people need to adopt the same personal safety considerations as women.

You expect the police to promote some sort of progressive agenda? More fool you!

137. Chaise Guevara

Late to the party, but to echo points that have no doubt already been made:

1) The campaign explicitly does not make out that alcohol is the main cause. That’s way it says it makes you “MORE vulnerable”, not just vulnerable.

2) This is a classic case of letting right-on attitudes create an actively harmful policy. Yes, the only person to blame is the rapist. This does not change the simple fact that walking home alone while drunk through a dangerous part of town raises the risk of being raped. You’re letting the (false) accusation of victim-blaming get in the way of *preventing rape*, for god’s sake. See the analogy of locking your car, above.

3) If the rejected campaign was deemed offensive to men, I reckon it went a little beyond “rapists, don’t rape”. It probably implied that all men were potential rapists. However, in line with (2) we can probably put up with a little offence if it helps prevent rape. Lesser of two evils by a long way.

4) That Scottish “campaign” you link to is obviously a joke, not a real thing. It could be viewed as trivialising rape AND giving ideas to rapists.

I see why you get angry that anti-rape campaigns are aimed at potential victims rather than potential offenders, but this is presumably because potential victims are easier to reach (there are exceptions, like those TV ads aimed at young people basically saying “you may not think of what you’re doing as rape, but it is”). But I think you’re letting the instinct to be offended get in the way of the simple logical point that, if you take precautions, you are safer. This applies to all crime, not just rape. And no, in a perfect world you shouldn’t have to take those precautions, but we evidently don’t live in such a world.

Well, as Shatterface points out, marykmac has rather let the cat out of the bag with her discussion of the “cost [of making past rape victims feel bad] to balance against the benefit [of preventing future rapes]”. If you don’t think the benefit is worth is, then frankly there’s something wrong with you.

But just to shoot the final straw man – cim’s mathematical model whereby preventing a pickpocketing or rape doesn’t actually make any difference, because the criminal will simply pick on someone else instead. The model is that reducing the number of vulnerable individuals in a given night from e.g. a 1000 to 500 won’t actually make any difference, because that number is still high enough to satisfy the pool of rapists.

This strikes me as entirely fallacious reasoning, because it’s not the absolute numbers which are important but the relative ones: the density of vulnerable individuals in the population. If a higher porportion of people are alert to the risks, then finding a victim is harder, takes longer, and a pickpocket will have a higher number of abandoned or foiled attempts for every successful crime… not to mention a higher chance of getting caught because of the greater general awareness among the population. (Note that feminsts are usually all about societal norms – not in this case somehow.)

These considerations apply even more strongly for rape, because of the extra time involved. Imagine a rapist sets his sights on a woman around midnight. She seems to be alone and drunk in the bar, so he homes in. But then she – sensibly – thinks to herself that she’s had enough to drink and switches to soft drinks. A little later her friends reappear at a time and place she had – sensibly – agreed to meet them. She’s now more sober and more safe; not only has the rapist’s attempt been foiled, he’s also wasted a bunch of time.

Quite frankly, cim’s argument strikes me as weirdly defeatist. If a potential rapist A is prevented from attacking possible victim B by her increased vigilance or that of her friends, rather than seeing this as the small victory it is, you simply presume that he will – with an implausible 100% certainty – find a replacement victim on the same day.

@134 I DID say that psychoanalysing Thermos O’Flask was fun, just not very good for extrapolating data for policy action. Besides paying for sex adds an extra layer to the proceedings. Buying sex kinda reduces the victory in ‘conquering’, and each transaction will vary between ‘taken from or done to’ or ‘do with and for’ depending on the characteristics of the buyer.
I remain to be convinced that policy actions that would reduce rape would also reduce the demand for paid sex.

140. Chaise Guevara

@ 139 Cylux

“I remain to be convinced that policy actions that would reduce rape would also reduce the demand for paid sex.”

I suspect, admittedly without data, that under the right circumstances liberalising the paid-sex industry would reduce the level of rape, assuming that part of that was creating proper oversight, and especially if in the process you reduced the social stigma of paying for sex.

I’m told that rape is generally an act of domination fuelled by hate. It’s reasonable to imagine that a lot of men who hate women hate them because they can’t get laid, they resent them because they won’t give them what they want. Wouldn’t accessibility to safe paid sex, without the feeling that you’ve branded yourself a pathetic john for life, prevent at least some of that resentment? I admit there may be factors I haven’t accounted for.

@140 Chaise: I suspect, admittedly without data, that under the right circumstances liberalising the paid-sex industry would reduce the level of rape,

There is some data that suggests this is right. There is also some data to the contrary.

http://prostitution.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000122

142. Chaise Guevara

@ 141 pjt

“There is some data that suggests this is right. There is also some data to the contrary.”

None of the quotes on that page show data to the contrary.

On the “pro” side (i.e. arguing that legalising prostitution would reduce rape), you’ve got two studies (i.e. data) and one data-free opinion piece. On the anti-side, you’ve got two data-free opinion pieces and one study into “open” prostitution, which I assume isn’t the same thing as legal prostitution. One of the opinion pieces works on the assumption that prositutes are “legally raped”, showing that the author is not on this planet.

I’m not sure either way, but I can see how decriminalised prostitution might net you a worst-of-both-worlds result: clients still don’t see it as a “legitimate” outlet, hence it not having a cathartic effect, but more clients come into contact with prostitutes, who are still left vulnerable by a shady legal status.

Any relevant study needs to look into prostitution being fully legalised to the point where it is regulated: where there are specific legal protections given to prostitutes and these protections are enforced.

137/Chaise: This does not change the simple fact that walking home alone while drunk through a dangerous part of town raises the risk of being raped.

Risk compared with what, and how much does it raise the risk by? (Absolute risks, not relative ones, of course. A raise from 0.000001 to 0.00001 is both ten times larger and not worth worrying about)

Given that about 40% of rapes (on BCS data) are committed by a current or former male partner, should the police be advising women not to have male partners? (It’s a higher risk factor than alcohol) BCS data suggests that also not having male friends, acquaintances and dates would stop another 20% of rapes. Advise against that too?

Yes, yes, clearly they shouldn’t give that advice. But why not, if they should give the advise sobriety as a way of preventing rape?

138/Larry: because it’s not the absolute numbers which are important but the relative ones: the density of vulnerable individuals in the population

Depends whether or not the criminal is able to make a reasonably accurate quick assessment of the vulnerability of their potential victims. If they can, then reducing the number of vulnerable potential victims in the population (while the absolute number remains large) makes little difference (note: not no difference) and other factors (such as discouragement to reporting, or effects on jury attitudes) may mean the overall effect is negative.

If you don’t think the benefit is worth is, then frankly there’s something wrong with you.

You can not possibly really believe that, provided an action reduces the future number of rapes, it is worth any other cost to society.

Especially not for an action which is highly unlikely to have any noticeable effect on that number. Seriously, do you really think there are many women out there who haven’t already been told that if they get drunk they might be raped and it’ll be their fault? (Yes, yes, the police message differs in omitting the second half. Clearly that will make all the difference)

You can not possibly really believe that, provided an action reduces the future number of rapes, it is worth any other cost to society.

You’re right: I can’t and don’t. Which is why I didn’t say that I did.

What I do think, and did say, is that the cost/benefit analysis in this instance (a few feminists blowing their tops versus a reduction in the number of rapes) is a complete no-brainer.

Seriously, do you really think there are many women out there who haven’t already been told that if they get drunk they might be raped and it’ll be their fault? (Yes, yes, the police message differs in omitting the second half. Clearly that will make all the difference)

Except that that’s not “the second half”, it’s “a non-sequitur”.

…as has been explained on this thread coming up for 100 times by my count.

If you’re determined to read misosyginist insults into bland personal safety advice, that’s your inalienable right. But since your argument amounts to nothing more subtle than attributing really rather unpleasant opinions (victim-blaming) to people who’ve said no such thing, it’s not really that surprising that gets treated with increasing disdain each time it comes up.

145. Chaise Guevara

@ 143 Cim

“Risk compared with what, and how much does it raise the risk by?”

Compared with getting a licensed cab, or walking/busing home with trusted (preferably female) friends. I don’t have figures to hand. I do, however, assume that someone who is on their own, falling-down drunk and in a bad part of town is in more danger than someone with a group of friends, half-cut, and taking the longer but safer route.

“Given that about 40% of rapes (on BCS data) are committed by a current or former male partner, should the police be advising women not to have male partners? (It’s a higher risk factor than alcohol) BCS data suggests that also not having male friends, acquaintances and dates would stop another 20% of rapes. Advise against that too?

Yes, yes, clearly they shouldn’t give that advice. But why not, if they should give the advise sobriety as a way of preventing rape?”

Good point. My assumption is that having a partner or friends is seen, all else being equal, as a good thing, whereas drinking more than two glasses a day is officially Bad. Therefore, from the authorities’ point of view, there’s no downside to recommending people cut their drinking using the risk of rape as a motivator. I assume that’s why “regretful sex” is mentioned too.

However, please note that the posters are not just about drinking. They are also about getting home safely. These two risk factors probably stack, so if you’re planning to go out and get wasted, and know that nobody can walk home with you, perhaps it’s worth bringing money for a cab on that occasion.

The problem is that Sian presumably wants these messages taken away. In other words, because she thinks statements of fact can be offensive, she thinks the answer is to pretend these facts don’t exist – even though knowing the facts also allows people to make *informed* choices. Telling people the facts is not patronising, it is empowering.

There’s one point in the OP where Sian says that rape is being made out to be a “natural hazard”. Her treatment of this is too simplistic, and is obviously crafted to create the illusion of insult. In terms of assigning blame, rape is not a natural hazard. It is a crime committed by people who deserve all of the blame. However, from the POV of a woman going out for the night, or someone deciding whether to take down warning signs due to “offensiveness”, it is very much like a natural hazard.

The fact that the victim is not to blame is not a shield that prevents them from being raped. Issuing posters condemning rapists does not cause them to disappear. It is up to individuals whether they want to take precautions against it, as with many other crimes: pay for a burglary alarm, keep your headphones off to avoid getting mugged, buy a bike lock etc. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving people the information they need to make that choice from an informed position.

144/Larry: Well, yes, if you put the cost/benefit like that. Or you could phrase it as “a very small number of rapes possibly prevented” versus “rape victims being discouraged from reporting rapes that occurred while they were drunk, due to a tendency to blame themselves, leading to an increase in the number of free rapists”.

Given that there is very little UK research on rapist behaviour, the risk factors associated with alcohol, the effectiveness of alcohol-reduction campaigns, etc. etc. I don’t think you can claim that the cost/benefit is anything like that clear-cut.

Except that that’s not “the second half”, it’s “a non-sequitur”.

When 15-30% of the population (depending on exact survey question, etc) say when asked that someone who was drunk is either “partially” or “completely” responsible if they are raped, the second half is definitely there in general social advice

I didn’t say it was in the police poster. I clearly said the police poster didn’t contain the second half.

My point is that given how prevalent attitudes containing the second half are, a poster consisting of only the first half:
– risks reinforcing the attitudes containing the second half as well, where they already exist (and the prevalence of them, incidentally, is why these campaigns need to be approached more sensitively than general safety/security advice)
– doesn’t tell anyone anything new
…and is therefore likely to be ineffective at its goal.

than attributing really rather unpleasant opinions (victim-blaming) to people who’ve said no such thing

Nope. Read what I’ve actually written. The only comment in this thread in which I use the words “victim-blaming” is 107, and I don’t attribute those opinions to the poster or its producer in that comment. (I attribute them to some other people, but surveys show that those people do exist in large numbers, so that seems fair)

145/Chaise: But there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving people the information they need to make that choice from an informed position.

No argument there, but is this poster actually doing that? It states that there is an [unspecified] increase in the likelihood of a [low-probability, though it doesn’t say that] outcome from an [ill-defined] activity.

That’s not informing, that’s cheap scaremongering of a Daily Mail “X causes cancer” standard.

147. Chaise Guevara

@ cim

“No argument there, but is this poster actually doing that? It states that there is an [unspecified] increase in the likelihood of a [low-probability, though it doesn’t say that] outcome from an [ill-defined] activity. ”

Should we instead have posters saying “Hey! It’s statisically unlikely that you personally will be raped, so chill out! Why not catch a ride home with a stranger?”

These guys are doing their best. They don’t always account for the political interests of every bloody pressure group under the sun. What they are doing is giving people information.

I’d love it if the way to make public awareness campaigns effective was to quote sober figures. For some reason, people are more responsive to bright lights and exciting images. This annoys me, but if that’s what it takes to save a few people from abuse, so be it. This whole article is attacking the wrong damn target.

“That’s not informing, that’s cheap scaremongering of a Daily Mail “X causes cancer” standard.”

True. But who benefits when the Mail massages figures to condemn a convenient hate group, and who benefits when a poster prevents young women from being raped? There’s a qualitive difference here.

Given that there is very little UK research on rapist behaviour, the risk factors associated with alcohol, the effectiveness of alcohol-reduction campaigns, etc. etc. I don’t think you can claim that the cost/benefit is anything like that clear-cut.

This cuts both ways. If anyone can provide compelling statistical evidence that this sort of campaign doesn’t work, then I’ll happily join you in opposing it.

In the interim, it seems to me to pass the basic the sanity test (sensible precautions to take against a genuine risk), while the arguments being put against it strike me as both unconvincing and largely disreputable. So until the data comes in, I know where my default sympathies lie.

Incidentally, in the absence of any data, telling me off for claiming that “the cost/benefit is anything like that clear-cut” whilst simultaneously declaring that the campaign “highly unlikely to have any noticeable effect” while also muttering darkly about its “effects on jury attitudes”… is known as ‘having your cake and eating it’. If I can’t claim it, then you can’t either.

I didn’t say it was in the police poster. I clearly said the police poster didn’t contain the second half.

Ok then. But in the OP, Sian is quite explicit “West Mercia police are indulging in a classic case of victim blaming”, a charge which has been repeated by her and others several times.

Presumably, then, you disagree with Sian’s characterisation of West Mercia’s campaign?

See, most of the comments on this thread have been a discussion about whether or not that charge is fair and accurate or whether it is actually an unpleasant and unwarranted slur.

Your input on this has been to say that “My concern is not so much whether the signs and posters are directly victim-blaming” and “It doesn’t matter that you don’t think that this campaign actually blames victims for their rape.”

Well you’re wrong. It does matter, for the very simplest of reasons: blaming rape victims for being raped is a deeply nasty thing to do. Therefore accusing someone of doing that is a very serious charge to make. And we really don’t need to go any further than that: a serious charge has been made, its truth has been debated, conclusions have been reached. If these matters are not so much your concern, then you’re in the wrong discussion thread, aren’t you?

Now if you would like to have a sensible and polite (albeit data-free) discussion about the pros and cons of various anti-rape strategies, and the extent to which they may feed into different narratives in the popular consciousness, then fine. But I would put it to you that Sian’s post – a hyperbolic, deliberately polarising, smear camapaign – is pretty much the worst possible starting point.

149. Chaise Guevara

Incidentally, the person known as Larrry is making pretty much the best sense on this thread and deserves credit for it.

@142 Chaise – quite, this link was merely an example. It is easy to google for references to studies that claim to provide data either way. Myself, I think the claim is credible that legal prostitution does reduce rape at least in some countries/societies. I do think that different societies may react very differently.

And then of course there is the definition of what actually is prostitution. In our eyes, the islamin concepts of temporary marriages are in practice prostitution, but I suppose that in islamic countries the distinction is important that there is a proper contract which makes it not to be morally deplorable or criminal prostitution.

sed s/islamin/islamic/ <150

Chaise: They don’t always account for the political interests of every bloody pressure group under the sun.

Yes, who would have thought to ask the local rape crisis centre for advice when running a campaign to reduce rape. (They put their contact details on the site, so they obviously were relevant to the campaign)

I will let them off their decision not to consult the National Farmers’ Union, though. Anyone could have made that mistake.

True. But who benefits when the Mail massages figures to condemn a convenient hate group, and who benefits when a poster prevents young women from being raped? There’s a qualitive difference here.

That’s only true if that’s actually the effect of the poster, and we don’t know that it is/will be.

~40% of women aged 16-24 regularly drink in excess of the guidelines weekly. (I think we can assume anyone over 24 will probably have heard the advice not to drink already)
So … West Mercia has a population of ~700,000, of whom approx. 40,000 are women in that age range.
So multiplying up, that’s at least 2 million per year (some may be drinking in excess of the guidelines more than once a week, some less. I’ll assume it averages out)

BCS rates of rape are approximately 6 per 1,000 population per year at that age range, or about 240. Then take off 40% (because assault by a partner or family member is not likely to be prevented by this poster). Then multiply by a third (taking the stats from KL&R 2005 on alcohol, though that also includes those rapes which would have taken place anyway had the victim been sober). Those last two multiplications weren’t entirely independent, of course, but since I’m only working to 1 sig fig to start with, close enough.

That gets ~50 offences out of 2 million potential victims, for an approximate chance of 0.000025 on any particular occasion, an unresearched number of which would not actually be prevented by the victim being sober/drinking within guidelines.

So even in the utterly implausible best case, in which every one of the people in the target demographic who would be a victim in a particular year sees the poster before that point and as a result chooses not to drink to “excess” on that day and the person who would have raped them is unable to as a result and that person does not find a different victim … the reduction in the number of rapes committed in West Mercia will still be indistinguishable from normal statistical variation.

Given that, I don’t think we can state with certainty that the effect of the poster on rape will be helpful. I’m unconvinced, given those numbers, that it will result in even one fewer rape being committed. I don’t have the numbers to hand to quantify the possible negative effects on victims, etc. but I don’t think a claim that they might be of the same order of magnitude is unreasonable. (At which point the sensible thing to do is surely to run some studies to get better numbers – and they haven’t – not put the campaign up on a vague belief that the positives are higher)

(For comparison, consider the various public health scares which after well-conducted research have turned out to be completely unfounded, but which caused negative effects in the meantime. Best of intentions, but still wrong.)

I’d love it if the way to make public awareness campaigns effective was to quote sober figures.

Well, I’m not asking for the poster to contain a full peer-reviewed paper, obviously. But I think it should probably have one backing up its claims and methods.

Interestingly, while looking up comparable risks to that 0.000025/occasion, I came across the British Parachute Association site, which does soberly quote similar-sized fatality numbers to allow people to make a proper informed choice as to whether they should jump or not. (Of course, they put it as “not risk free but generally safe” rather than as a reason you should avoid parachutes at all costs)

153. Chaise Guevara

@ 152 cim

“Yes, who would have thought to ask the local rape crisis centre for advice when running a campaign to reduce rape.”

Did they not? The only reference to the rape crisis centre I see on this thread is in your comment.

The rape crisis centre should be consulted for its expertise, if any, on the best ways to prevent rape via public relations. It should not be asked to politically vet the poster based on the views of its staff.

“That’s only true if that’s actually the effect of the poster, and we don’t know that it is/will be. ”

Agreed. But it *might* save one or more people, and I don’t see any harm in having the poster up.

I notice that in the rest of your post you’re still acting as if the poster refers only to drinking, when it also cautions women to get home safely.

Woman who lied about rape asks for ‘bygones to be bygones’

A Los Angeles teenager convicted of rape in 2002 has been cleared after his “victim” admitted lying.

Brian Banks was sentenced to ten years in prison for raping Wanetta Gibson when he was 16 years-old. He entered a ‘no contest plea’ and served five years.

Soon after he was released in 2007, Ms Gibson contacted him on facebook with the words “let bygones be bygones”. She admitted he was innocent but was concerned she would have to pay back the $1.5m the school gave her in damages at the time.

Mr Banks agreed to meet her and videotaped her with the help of the California Innocence Project.

He gave BBC Radio 5 live Up All Night’s Rhod Sharp his first international interview along with his lawyer Justin Brooks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18266118

..

..Woman who lied about rape asks for ‘bygones to be bygones’

A Los Angeles teenager convicted of rape in 2002 has been cleared after his “victim” admitted lying.

Brian Banks was sentenced to ten years in prison for raping Wanetta Gibson when he was 16 years-old. He entered a ‘no contest plea’ and served five years.

Soon after he was released in 2007, Ms Gibson contacted him on facebook with the words “let bygones be bygones”. She admitted he was innocent but was concerned she would have to pay back the $1.5m the school gave her in damages at the time.

Mr Banks agreed to meet her and videotaped her with the help of the California Innocence Project.

He gave BBC Radio 5 live Up All Night’s Rhod Sharp his first international interview along with his lawyer Justin Brooks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18266118

157. Katherine

The concept of “context” means nothing to you guys does it?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Daisy Cooper

    I think @sianushka is spot on: 'Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice' http://t.co/4JqgZedz

  2. Aisling Cahill

    I think @sianushka is spot on: 'Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice' http://t.co/4JqgZedz

  3. StopWatch Campaign

    "Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice" http://t.co/KtWOnpkZ from @libcon

  4. Cynthia s'interroge

    RT @zohramoosa: Nicely done @sianushka RT @libcon: Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice http://t.co/981j3vML

  5. Jane O'Neill

    Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6eMbyf2e via @libcon

  6. ADVANCE

    Good challenge to victim blaming by @sianushka -”@libcon: Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice http://t.co/o8TMpN6c&quot;

  7. TheCreativeCrip

    Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice http://t.co/mkgfFEjS

  8. Laura Tomlinson

    Previous tweet totally inspired by blogpost by @sianushka over at @libcon on anti-rape campaigns. Find it here: http://t.co/LwFZb4MA

  9. Ger

    Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice http://t.co/mkgfFEjS

  10. Gareth

    I think @sianushka is spot on: 'Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice' http://t.co/4JqgZedz

  11. Diane Lowe

    Another #police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/4WsMkzda via @libcon

  12. Helen Grimbleby

    Another #police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/4WsMkzda via @libcon

  13. Karen

    Another police force gets it badly wrong on anti-rape advice http://t.co/hfqlsDbX <<< Here we go again with blaming victims for #rape >:-(

  14. Victim Blaming? « Mediasnoops2

    […] http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/07/26/another-police-force-gets-it-badly-wrong-on-anti-rape-advice… […]





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