This video is hard to watch. It's a simulated teen rape, but it's only partially intended to shock. The British government commissioned the ad primarily to show teens that what they might think is "heavy petting" is really a sex crime.

The ad is part of the UK Home Office's new This is Abuse campaign, which is aimed at 13-18-year-olds and slated to air during shows like Skins. Aside from the ad's rawness, what stands out is that it's aimed at boys. For once someone's telling them not to rape, rather than telling girls not to drink or wear short skirts or go out by themselves.

The campaign also has choose-your-own adventure-style ads, which you can view from the point of view of the boy or the girl. It would be good to see the Home Office put out a version where a boy is the victim, so teens are aware that sexual assault can happen to boys too. But for now the campaign is doing something not many others do. Driving this home to a disturbing degree is an interview (at left) with actor Sam Gittens, the boy in the ad, who says boys watching the ad might see the rapist's behavior as "just a bit rough, a bit forceful." The girl clearly says "no" and "I don't want to" — if teenagers can't recognize that as rape, they're going to need more than one PSA.


Home Office launches anti-rape campaign [MarketingWeek, via Daily Mail]
This Is Abuse [Home]