Quotes of the Day

[Content Note: The below quotes and image are in reference to/part of an anti-rape campaign.]

"It is important that the public are aware of what rape is and the campaign will help in raising public awareness on this as well as dispelling any myths about rape. There is no concept of contributory negligence in the crime of rape. Rape is rape."—Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland.

"Rape is a horrific crime and this campaign, led by ACPOS, has my full backing because we need to change attitudes and educate the next generation. This campaign also sends out the message loud and clear to perpetrators that any instance of rape is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."—Cabinet Secretary of Justice Kenny MacAskill.

"The tone and language of the campaign marks a significant shift in approach to raising awareness of sexual offences legislation, and I hope it will help remind men that they are in complete control of their behaviour."—Assistant Chief Constable Graham Sinclair, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland lead for Public Protection.

These are strong words, amazing words, and I desperately hope that they are backed up by equally strong wills to make a change in the prevention and prosecution of sexual violence in Scotland, which has terribly low reporting and prosecution rates, and one of the lowest conviction rates in Europe.

I am feeling almost giddily optimistic reading such uncompromising words from officials (male officials!) who are promising to treat sexual violence with the seriousness it deserves, and who are further explicitly engaging men in prevention.

image of a poster from the new campaign featuring a white male rugby player ('Greg'), accompanied by text reading: 'I'm the kind of guy who DOESN'T have sex with a girl when she's too DRUNK. Are you?' and, at the bottom: 'Sex without consent is RAPE. We can stop it.'

Normally, I would take issue with euphemising rape as "have sex," but in a campaign aimed at men who don't view "having sex" with an incapacitated woman as rape, and on a poster where it is also clearly defined as rape, I think it's very effective.

My only quibble is the qualifier "too" in front of drunk. "When she's drunk" would be better, as it doesn't suggest there's some magical level of inebriation at which authentic consent is possible. BUT! That is truly a small thing in what is otherwise a very impressive campaign inviting men to engage as accountable parties in rape prevention. Yay!

[Quotes and image from here; hat tip to Shaker Quercki, in comments.]

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