Signal Boost: postcard against victim-blaming

This is a terrific campaign against rape myths, and Rape Crisis Scotland have made this downloadable as a print-quality PDF:
The postcard front:

A pie chart graph where they chart is all in red, the last colour on the chart key list

Proportion of women raped while wearing short skirts who...

Text-graphic description: A circle in the style of a pie chart is fully coloured red. The key reads as follows
Proportion of women raped while wearing short skirts who:
[blue] asked for it
[yellow] were inviting the “wrong” kind of attention
[green] have only themselves to blame
[black] should be treated to a series of tired analogies related to car theft, burglary or similar
[red] were victims of a serious assault and deserving of support, not blame

The postcard reverse:

text graphic

Quite straightforward really, even if you don't do numbers or like short skirts

Text-graphic transcription:

Quite straightforward really, even if you don’t do numbers or like short skirts

When it comes to rape, culpability lies with the rapist and nowhere else.

The questions we should be asking are not ones like “What was she thinking?” or “Isn’t that a bit like leaving the keys in an unlocked car?” but:

“When are we going to start scrutinising perpetrators instead of those they assault?”

Blaming women for their choice in the context of rape heaps insult on injury – and supports the myths that seriously hamper their chances of obtaining justice.

Want to do something about this?

Download resources from our campaign websites at
– and help us shift the focus where it really belongs


Categories: education, gender & feminism, social justice

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. Rape Crisis Scotland were also behind the “Not Ever” rape awareness campaign:
    Here is the video:
    A crowded bar. A blonde woman in a blue sequinned skirt is talking to someone with their back to the audience.
    “You’re terrible! Ha ha, shut up!”
    Camera pans to two men
    Man: Ooh, look at that skirt!
    Close up on blue skirt
    Man: She’s asking for it!
    Scene cut. Now it’s a clothes store. Same blonde woman is looking at a pink skirt and the blue skirt, holding them up to herself and looking in the mirror. A brunette woman (shop assistant) walks over.
    Shop Assistant: Can I help you?
    Woman: I’m going out tonight and I want to get raped. I need something that will encourage a man to have sex with me against my will.
    Assistant: The blue one. Definitely the blue one.
    Blonde woman turns to the camera
    “As if.”
    Cut to close up of blue skirt. A male voice over speaks as white words come up on the screen.
    “No one asks to be raped. Ever.”

  2. Rape Crisis Scotland are a very competent organisation. They are, however, building on a very strong civilian (Roman law) jurisdictional history that takes a dim view of rape (which goes back to antiquity, too). The Procurator Fiscal (where I work) is very proud of the fact that we have much higher conviction rates for rape than ‘over the border’ (ie, south of Hadrian’s Wall), and that we haven’t had to modify our laws on provocation — which have, since the first century AD, stuck the blame where it belongs — on the man.

    • The postcards are however tackling the other side of the coin from the actual laws, which is the public perception of how rape plays out that feeds into jury decisions of guilty and not guilty (and not proven, which is thankfully also an option in Scotland and a fine one it is too).
      By all accounts from various polls etc, there’s still an awfully long way to go on that in terms of acceptance of victim-blaming rape myths in Scottish public opinion as elsewhere.

  3. There’s a lot of really great feminist activism going in Scotland at the moment, it’s really inspiring.
    I haven’t been able to find truly comparable statistics for Scotland and the rest of the UK, but I don’t think the conviction rate in Scotland is actually high enough to be proud of. According to Rape Crisis Scotland for 2008-2009, 3% of rapes reported to the police resulted in a conviction.

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