As we prepare for tonight’s Take Back the Night Rally & March it’s vital to keep in mind one of the myths this week has aimed to break down; the blame of sexual assault should not be placed on women. One campaign that nails this idea head on comes from across the Atlantic in Scotland. “This Is Not An Invitation to Rape Me” was created by Rape Crisis Scotland in order to confront attitudes blaming women for rape in a very direct way. With pictures relating to dress, intimacy, drink, and relationships, this campaign combats four of the biggest myths used in placing blame. The interactive website is filled with stats, different perspectives on each of the myths, and pictures from the campaign. Here, I break down the four main myths featured in the campaign and different perspective quotes on each from the site.
DRINK Alcohol usually plays a role in cases of rape, but works differently for men and women. Just because a woman is intoxicated does not mean she is open to take advantage of, a situation that happens far too often in sexual assaults.
MYTH: “If she gets so drunk she doesn’t know what she’s doing and ends up in bed with some guy, that’s got to be partially her fault.”
TRUTH: “We like to drink and have a good time, a hangover is the worst we expect to happen.”
DRESS Women have the right to wear whatever they want, wherever, whenever. Countless times women have been accused of dressing too “provocatively” and blamed for bringing a sexual assault upon themselves. This idea is absolutely ludicrous; women have the right to express their personal style without having to think, “will this outfit jeapordize my personal safety?”
MYTH: “Her clothing leaves nothing to the imagination. She is asking for trouble in my opinion.”
TRUTH: “I know I have a good figure and like to dress sexily, that doesn’t give any man the right to sexually abuse me.”
INTIMACY A kiss is not an obligation for anything more; a woman has the right to say no at any point. So often men take any sort of intimate act as an open invitation to whatever they would like sexually from a woman.
MYTH: “Things are obviously getting very intimate and some men just can’t stop after they reach a certain point.”
TRUTH: “Just because we’ve been kissing and touching, it doesn’t mean I’ve consented to sex.”
RELATIONSHIPS Sexual assault that occurs within a relationship is one of the most misunderstood forms, as many believe that since the couple is together, they have the right to any sexual act at any time. Especially within married couples, no still means no. Rape cases within marriage are one of the types that most often go unreported.
MYTH: “I don’t think that a man forcing himself on his wife is rape.”
TRUTH: “A marriage certificate is not permission to take sex when you want it. It still requires mutual agreement.”
–Ashleigh Mavros, Student Outreach Coordinator