We have written a few pieces recently regarding victim blaming, the notion that women somehow are partly to blame for being raped. Often these assumptions center on women’s behavior or appearance as an invite to rape. Other times, victim blaming occurs as women are seen as irresponsible for being on their own, for consuming alcohol or for not being careful enough.
We need to be aware and critical of victim blaming as rape is never a woman’s fault. It should go without saying that women should be free to do whatever they like without being raped or sexually harassed. Victim blaming is awful in that it transfers blame onto the victim while minimizing the responsibility of the real perpetrator, the rapist. Often times, campaigns that strive to prevent rape are aimed at women and tips are provided to make women safer, as if preventing rape is women’s and not men’s responsibility.
That is why we were excited when we saw this public service announcement (from last year) that concerns rape. It states that this PSA is: “for sexual assault awareness, for men, by men”. The message is simple yet effective – don’t rape.
It is great to hear men’s voices and opinions concerning rape and it is both supporting and comforting for women to know that not everyone believes that women are responsible for eradicating rape against women. We like this video because it clearly challenges victim blaming and many of the assumptions that are commonly reiterated together with victim blaming (such as what we mentioned above about walking alone or drinking alcohol). We also like the slogan at the end: “Men Advocating Responsible Conduct”. We give this PSA two thumbs up.