PA Liquor Board Pulls Ad

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

(Follow link for image of ad)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An ad meant to warn young adults about the links between heavy drinking and rape has been pulled by Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board.

Critics said it was another example of suggesting victims are to blame for rape.

The ad featured an image of a woman's legs on a bathroom floor with her underwear pulled down to her ankles, and the words: "She didn't want to do it, but she couldn't say no."

Stacey Witalec, a spokeswoman for the Liquor Control Board, said the online ad was part of a broader campaign that began a few months ago on the website She said there was both criticism and support for the ad, but the board decided to pull it Wednesday evening.

Witalec said the campaign was trying to bring attention to a serious problem, not suggest rape victims are to blame.

"On an annual basis more than 97,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 are the victims of alcohol-fueled sexual assaults," Witalec said, "and those statistics are staggering."

One expert defended the ad.

Jennifer Storm, Executive Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Harrisburg, noted that one sequence in the interactive ad stated very clearly that rape isn't the victim's fault.

"I feel strongly that we need to be having very frank conversations about prevention. Otherwise, all we're doing is intervening after the fact," Storm said.

"Alcohol is the number one drug used to facilitate rape. You lose your capacity to make sound decisions," Storm said, adding that "we need to empower people with every tool and piece of knowledge we have."

One blogger on the website Jezebel didn't agree.

"Rape is not just a bad thing that happens to someone after drinking too much," wrote Erin Gloria Ryan. "It's a deliberate act on the part of the rapist, a violation of another person committed solely because the rapist wanted to rape. The sooner we acknowledge this, the sooner we'll be rid of stupid, finger wagging ads like these."

Ryan also said that the portion of the ad reading "See what could happen when your friends drink too much" was "just shifting blame away from the rapist and onto the victim and, oddly, the victim's friends."

Several other ads in the campaign warning about the dangers of heavy drinking are still being used. Those subjects include excessive drinking and alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, and drunken arguments.


Thoughts? Do you think the ad was over the top? Do you think it made rapre seem like the vitim's fault? Should it have been pulled?


Becky - posted on 12/09/2011




The point of the ad isn't really to prevent rape though, it is to encourage responsible drinking, by outlining one of the possible consequences of drinking too much. As part of a series of ads showing other possible consequences, I don't think it's inappropriate. If it was supposed to be an anti-rape ad, I can see why it would be an issue.

Krista - posted on 12/09/2011




Rapists are going to rape, whether the person is drunk or sober. It might be easier to rape someone who's drunk, but the intent is still there.

We need to be concentrating our efforts on teaching people that it is completely and utterly unacceptable and disgusting to have sex with someone if they have not expressly consented to it.

There's nothing wrong with teaching girls to be cautious, but if we focus too much effort on that, it gives people a false sense of security -- thinking that if they're careful, and don't get drunk, and don't wear certain types of clothes, etc. etc., that they won't get raped.

And that's not so. Nuns have been raped, for pete's sake.

I prefer ads like this, that tell people not to rape, as opposed to telling people how to avoid being raped:




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[deleted account]

I'm a rape survivor and I think it's a powerful ad. It would likely (if I saw it on a bad day) make me very upset and would make me remember things best forgotten. However I think pulling it was an overreaction.

Becky - posted on 12/09/2011




No, I don't really see it as blaming the victim. It's not saying that if you drink too much, you are asking to be raped. It is saying that you are more vulnerable, which is the truth. Anyone can be raped, but it's no secret that rapists will sometimes use alcohol and drugs as tools to make their victims more vulnerable. I think as part of an ad campagne advocating for responsible drinking, this ad was fine. It was just outlining one possible consequence of having too much to drink.

Stifler's - posted on 12/09/2011




I'm sure there was an ad like that used to be on tv here. It's not blaming the victim. Your chances of being raped are way higher if you're incapacitated and can't fight them off. And not remembering it and then getting pregnant.

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