The Campaign

About This Campaign

In Scotland, only 2.9% of rapes recorded by the police currently lead to a conviction, and the humiliation experienced by female complainers in court is well documented.

Despite recent efforts to help women who have been raped to receive justice, societal attitudes continue to play a significant role in limiting justice for women who have experienced this crime.

To help challenge these attitudes in your community download a Campaign Pack which includes a briefing paper, images from the campaign and posters. If you are looking for news relating to this campaign we will be updating the Campaign News section throughout the campaign. If you are looking for support or help with any of the issues raised by this campaign you can find it in the Links and Resources section. We have also provided links to extensive research and statistics investigating society's attitudes towards rape victims.

Several reviews (including one by the Crown Office in Scotland) and other pieces of research conducted over the last few years have highlighted consistently and alarmingly a range of prejudicial attitudes held by the public which blame women for their victimisation and compound an already traumatic experience by attributing the assault in whole or in part to some aspect of their demeanour or behaviour.

This is particularly true where women have been drinking before being raped, if they dress in a manner deemed to be ‘provocative’, or if they have engaged in some level of intimacy with their attacker before an assault. Women who suffer rape in the context of a marriage or other intimate partnership are also seriously disadvantaged by public attitudes, which often support the view that by entering into this marriage or relationship, they have somehow given up their right to refuse consent to sex.

The myth persists that only rape by a stranger counts as ‘real rape’, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of attacks are carried out by someone known to the victim, (often her husband or partner) and are every bit as damaging.

With This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me, Rape Crisis Scotland intends to confront these attitudes in a very direct way, and invites members of the public in Scotland to join us in putting an end to blaming women for rape. The campaign comprises a range of images (and supporting materials) which invite you to examine your own attitude to the situations presented, and enter the debate that we hope our campaign will generate.

Women NEVER invite rape, whatever relationship they are in, whatever decisions they have made around drink or dress and whatever level of intimacy they have already engaged in with their attackers. We need to replace the blame and condemnation we currently offer to women who have been raped with support and justice. And we need to assign responsibility where it really belongs – with rapists.

If you want to make this happen, download a briefing pack to find out more and to take this message into your community.

Background to the campaign This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me was created in 1994 in New York City by Charles Hall and Eric McClellan in response to the attempted rape of a dear, female, friend who would not press charges for fear of the harsh judicial process and the public humiliation associated with accusing someone of rape. Posters, stickers, public service announcements and an art installation, were created to attack the perception, when a woman is raped, she asked for it, deserved it or wanted it.

In 1995, thanks to the introduction by Dr. Susan Sorenson of the U.C.L.A. School of Public Health, the campaign was donated to the L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW). It ran throughout Los Angeles and was included in U.C.L.A.'s and Cal State Northridge's freshman orientation program. The campaign was later shared with CALCASA and ran throughout the state of California. For the past 14 years, LACAAW, (now known as Peace Over Violence) has used the campaign locally and shared the work with organizations around the country.

The launch of the campaign in Scotland through Rape Crisis Scotland, represents the first time the campaign has been shared with another country. The revised executions are based on a simple insight and design by Graham Clifford of Graham Clifford Design and the creative direction of Charles Hall, a Professor at the VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia.

According to Graham and Charles, "The 'This is not an invitation to rape me' campaign is a cry for justice."

The work is the result of the collaborations and contributions of art directors, Karen Pfaff, Adrian Hilton, Jennifer Maravillas, Karen Land, Dan Case and Jillian Dresser. All photography is courtesy of Julie Cerise - and The campaign was produced in Edinburgh, Scotland by Aynsley Law and 1step 2 Productions.