A sexual assault crackdown launched by Sussex Police has come unstuck after observers pointed out that a campaign poster designed to raise awareness of the issue implied women were to blame for such crimes rather than male perpetrators.
Depicting two smiling women on a night out the ad asked ’Which one of your mates is most vulnerable on a night out?’ before adding, ‘The one you leave behind.’
The advice continues with the force stating: “Many sexual assaults could be prevented. Stick together and don’t let your friend leave with a stranger or go off on their own.”
Amongst those to criticise the campaign was Sarah Green from the End Violence Against Women Coalition, who said: “We need to get beyond police campaigns giving instructions to women on how to behave to be safe. We need to talk to those who may perpetrate rape and deter them.”
Responding to the criticism Sussex police chief inspector Katy Woolford, said: “Rape is never a victim’s fault, but as with all crimes we can reduce the number of victims in several ways.
“We would be failing in our response if, as with any other crime, we did not recognise that there are victims and urge them to take steps to minimise risks and help safeguard others from becoming victims.”