Friday, October 16, 2009

Steps To Prevent Rape Poster

Original poster (for reference only):

Revised poster (newest version)

After attending meetings and a conference on primary prevention of sexual and/or domestic violence and reviewing posters which claim to be prevention messages but are not I decided to create my own primary prevention poster related to alcohol facilitated sexual assaults which is now available for purchase on Cafe Press.

Please let me know what you think. Can anything I included come across as victim blaming?

Update (10/17): I've created an alternative poster (the one that's right justified).
Update (10/18): I've updated the alternative poster to address feedback.

Update (10/25): one more update.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:02 AM   12 comments links to this post


At October 16, 2009 1:05 PM, Anonymous Georgia Girl said...

My favorites on the poster are:

1. "lack of resistance is not consent."

2. "if you have to manipulate to get what you want, you don't have genuine consent."

At October 17, 2009 12:34 PM, Anonymous ns said...

The Comment about alcohol left me feeling queasy; wasn't sure to whom it was addressed.

Also, saying (a) You don't have the ability to think clearly but (b) think anyway seemed a bit odd.

At October 17, 2009 1:30 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

ns, thanks for the feedback. I created an alternative version. Does that address the issues you raised?

At October 17, 2009 9:20 PM, Anonymous J. A. S. said...

Marcella, I love you, I read your blog all the time, but I am afraid I will have to disagree with this.

I am tired of rape prevention on the part for future victims. Instead of getting to the true root of the problem. I don't think women shouldn't be bound, because of their gender, to take extra precautions in parties and such.

In my belief to stop the root of the problem is not only to make tougher laws. But try to convince countries that sell Rohypnol "Ruffies" to ban them.

I know that there is tons of things other than Rohypnol, but it's the only thing I was taught in school to look out for. I know that people are willing to play mind games, and even get women to help take part in rapes of other women.

I don't know if tougher laws would help with making rapes less, but as a woman myself, I don't want to be afraid to go to parties, or walk outside without having one of those rape women condoms on (if they ever get legalized in the country I am in).

You probably don't agree with me, or you probably do. This is just my opinion. I don't blame victims if they didn't follow guide lines that many people set out for them. Because they weren't asking for it.

It's like asking to be robbed because you have nice clothing, or getting your house broken into because you don't have an alarm system. It probably would make you safer if you don't wear nice clothes, and it probably would be less of a chance for robbery if you do have an alarm system.

But why must you be limited to things such as nice clothes because of the fear of being robbed. Why must you spend more money on protection?

Maybe I am just being dumb, and none of this makes sense. But I still feel that I shouldn't have boundaries because of people out.

At October 17, 2009 10:12 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


I absolutely agree that rape prevention shouldn't be the responsibility of future victims. This poster is not directed at potential victims but is instead directed at potential perpetrators and those who would try to blame victims in any way.

After reading the second comment, I saw how the first version could be confusing and that's why I created the second version.

On Rohypnol, I think the most important action is to make sure all jurisdictions have laws related to giving people drugs without their knowledge so this is always a felony with a mandatory prison sentence.

If Rohypnol remains legal in some countries then manufacturers should be required to add a bitter taste to the drug.

At October 18, 2009 4:12 AM, Anonymous J. A. S. said...

Sorry, I only read one of them, and I figured that they were pretty much the same thing. I felt frustrated and didn't read the second, I guess I should have read both.

At October 18, 2009 4:27 AM, Blogger Faisal Qureshi said...

I'm a man, and I do NOT agree with this. This is a very apologetic approach towards a heinous crime - rape. It is a woman's prerogative to do what she wants, when she wants, who she wants to do it with; just as it is a man's prerogative. If shes says NO, it bloody well means NO. End of discussion. No level of justification based on mixed signals, body language, etc. can be acceptable.

Also, being in the third world, my biggest dilemma is the struggle with society to make them accept abuse "victims". Unfortunately, in this part of the world the rapist or abuser is seen as the victim, and the abused or raped as the real culprit. It is this lack of acceptability that prevents almost 90% crime to be reported. Main stream media, films, and music, in this part of the world has also done immense dis-service to the cause.

We, globally need to make the society accept a victim as any other person.

-Faisal Qureshi

At October 18, 2009 8:13 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


I'm sorry you see this as apologetic. I agree with you that no means no and that proceeding cannot be justified by mixed signals. The reason for "wait until another day or risk a rightful accusation" was to address specific rationalizations.

However, I see your point that some people might read permission into that when it is meant to communicate to those who are sure they have consent that their "she only said no once" or "some women who want sex send mixed signals" will not be treated as valid defenses.

At October 19, 2009 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it does. Thank you!

At October 25, 2009 9:04 PM, Blogger seitzk said...

What I find a bit off-putting about the poster is the jargon used. I think that "perpetrator" and "perpetration" are a bit too jargony for a poster that's meant to appeal to a wide audience.

At October 26, 2009 12:00 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...


Thanks for the feedback. I've updated the poster again. Please, let me know what you think.

At November 04, 2009 3:23 PM, Blogger Prudence said...


Some interesting points here, especially from Faisal. He is right that "no" means "no".

I do like your poster though, precisely because it gives advice as to when all the evidence in the situation should point to a clear "no".

I would imagine that it is aimed at young people, who are just starting to go out drinking and getting themselves into situations where they don't really know how to communicate effectively about whether they want sex or not.

I think this poster fills a gap in this education.

I would wonder whether the people who would read it and take in its message are not really the ones who we need to worry about, but I do think this will go some way to stopping acquaintance rape amongst young people and it would also hopefully show the potential "victims" what sort of behaviour they should be able to expect as well.

I hope this goes well for you - it's an important message.


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