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Getting it right: Sexual Violence Prevention in media.

February 7, 2010

Because many of you commented that you enjoyed “getting it right” posts, I though I would pass along this link from Gender Across Borders: Getting it Right when it Comes to Anti-Rape Campaigns. This is important, because there are a lot of ways that sexual violence prevention, particularly in mass campaigns has been done wrong:

1. Blaming the victim: I’ve presented Norwegian media’s efforts to “warn women” about sexual violence rather than discuss systematic problems and rape culture. GAB’s post references the S*M*A*R*T campaign, which similarly blames victims for sexual violence by giving women steps to avoid being sexually assaulted, because “rape happens”.

2. Triggering: Both of these ads could be triggering for some survivors, but the efforts of Cabwise in London (shown to me by a friend) are unquestionably triggering and creating of an unsafe environment for survivors. *warning, as I said, this ad is very triggering*

3. Glamorizing sexual violence: Joelynn recently wrote about how sensationalism makes her feel unsafe to tell her story as a survivor, and I think it’s a really important consideration in mass campaigns. There have been mixed opinions on the “This is not an invitation to rape me” campaign, also out of the UK, but I think there is definitely some problems with sensationalism.

And that’s why I’m glad Gender Across Borders presented this ad from Go Belfast as a way to promote sexual violence prevention “right”, and I definitely agree with them:

The ad unequivocally places the blame for acts of sexual assault on the perpetrator, and sets the standard for consent as something active. It must be given; it is not something that can be assume in the absence of denial. And it must be given freely meaning without coercion or pressure of any kind. By referring to “any act that’s in any way sexual”, the ad makes clear that there is no point before which unwanted sexual action are acceptable.

Can I also mention that the “consent is sexy” campaign might be getting it right? I discussed it a bit in the comments on their post, but feel free to leave your own thoughts about how sexual violence prevention can be done right.

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