'Tis the season to be ... raped apparently. The police have really outdone themselves this time with a series of adverts in which they effectively tell women (and potential rapists) that it is women who are to blame for being raped if they dare to have a few drinks at the Christmas party. The police of course claim they are alerting both men and women to the fact "a large proportion of reported rape cases feature alcohol as a factor - whether it is consumed by the victim or the offender" but that in itself completely misses the point - it implies there is no distinction to be made in terms of blame between the "victim" and the "offender".
Here are other things that increase a woman's likelihood of being raped:
1) Leaving her specially installed "safe room".
2) Having a vagina.
3) Saying "no".
Where is the police's advertising campaign to get women to stop doing these things?
On top of this the police claim their campaign aims to encourage rape victims to come forward. But with a 5.3% conviction rate and horror stories everywhere you turn, you have to think that what's stopping women coming forward it the fact that they have a genuine understanding of the treatment they really are likely to receive. No mention is made of the women being prosecuted for daring to accuse someone of rape without first collecting irrefutable evidence.
No doubt the police would point to the fact that a second part of the same campaign focusses on telling men that they could end up in prison if they rape someone. But that should really be the only point of the police advertising and of course where the story has been picked up in the press the headlines are all based on "warning" women not to drink too much. Sky News went with "Women Urged Not To Be Rapists' Prey This Xmas", the Metro preferred "Rape warning over festive drinks" with a subtitle that made it clear it was women on the receiving end of the warning.
And how are we supposed to believe that the attitude of the police towards rape victims is improving when even their advertising says the exact opposite?