NUS has expressed huge concern today at the ‘Know Your Limits’ recent poster campaign to tackle rape. The poster points out that in a third of reported rapes the victim had been drinking and warns people to monitor their alcohol consumption. It is available for download on the Home Office website and has been sighted in NHS premises.
NUS believes it is absolutely unacceptable to target a campaign aiming to reduce levels of rape at potential victims. Whilst it is important that individuals are aware of their own personal safety, they should never be led to believe they are responsible for rape or any kind of sexual assault that they may fall victim to.
Whilst we support efforts from the NHS and the Home Office to tackle high levels of alcohol consumption, it is clear that this poster campaign completely fails in getting it message across and contributes to a culture that blames victims of rape for something that wasn’t their fault. 100% of rapes happen when someone decides to rape another person and the only way to stop rape is to stop rapists.
NUS remains committed to removing rape culture from society and working with organisations and agencies to support victims of rape and sexual assault. Today we are joining calls for Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, and Theresa May, Home Secretary, to remove this poster from the NHS and make a clear commitment to tackling victim blaming.
Please write to Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May here
Susuana Antubam, National Women's Officer.
Colum McGuire, Vice President (Welfare).
UPDATE: Since the publishing of this statement, NUS has had contact with the Home Office who have assured us that this poster is from 2006/07 and is no longer available for download or order on any Home Office or Department of Health platforms. NUS was aware that this was an old poster but had received reports from an independent campaign about it being found on display in health services – we have been assured that this is in error and that the Department of Health has made efforts to ensure they are removed from any NHS premises.