Too often, well-meaning campaigns to prevent sexual assault end up putting the onus of rape prevention on the victims— don't wear sexy clothes, don't walk in bad neighborhoods, don't drink too much, don't get raped. But in the UK, authorities are taking a novel approach to preventing sexual assault this holiday season: by telling rapists not to rape people.
The Scotland Yard is utilizing wifi hotspots in bars and clubs to send holiday revelers text messages warning them that it's not okay to rape, and that having sex with someone who is too intoxicated to consent is rape. So, uh, don't do that. Although getting a "don't rape anyone you meet tonight, pls" text message at the beginning of a night out might be a bit of a buzzkill, the message is important, especially around a time year when drinking is at its annual high. One officer summarizes the reason behind the campaign thusly,
This concerted prevention drive is about sending a message to perpetrators of rape that sex with someone who is unable to consent is rape. If a person is unconscious or their judgment is impaired by alcohol they are legally unable to consent.
Partiers receive the texts if they follow instructions on posters placed in popular night spots.
The "hey it's legally not okay to have sex with a person too intoxicated to consent" approach differs
from a recently pulled Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board campaign that warned women that being too drunk can cause both you and your friends to get raped, which is absurd because, really, the only way that you can be the actual cause of someone else's rape is if you rape the person yourself.
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Scotland Yard Detective Superintendant Jason Ashwood agrees, saying,
This is about us trying to prevent offences from happening in the first place. I do however want to make something very clear: the only person ever responsible for a rape is the perpetrator.
Met to push rape warnings over wi-fi to Xmas partygoers [The Register]