There’s something slightly disconcerting about this poster from Humberside Police about drinking to excess.
Here’s what each of the halves looks like.
The writing says: “Heaven. A night out with friends, dancing and drinking.”
And this one continues:
“Hell. Drinking to excess, losing your friends, being vulnerable, not knowing how you got home.”
Underneath it says:
“Don’t let heaven turn to Hell, stay safe this Christmas by drinking responsibly and avoiding putting yourself at risk.”
Apart from the assumption that a night out is everyone’s idea of a good time, there’s something nagging me about the content of this poster.
Oh yeah, that’s it, the casual victim blaming.
It works like this. A group of people go out and have a few drinks. Or a lot of drinks. The group get split up at some point. One is assaulted on the way home. They call the police.
Then they’re asked what they were wearing.
Why did they drink so much.
Why weren’t they more careful.
The poster subtly suggests that women need to be extra careful, need to not drink to ‘excess’, need to prevent themselves from becoming victims.
I think someone has things arse about face. It is not the victim who is at fault but the perpetrator. The police should be supporting victims, not saying “well you shouldn’t have been drinking…”
It is no surprise that, with these sorts of institutional attitudes, victims of sexual assault and rape, whatever their sex and gender, under-report their attacks.