Clip of the Day: Nobody Asks to Be Raped

A Scottish ad makes a critical point about blaming female victims of sexual violence.

How many women do you know who ask to be raped?

Rape Crisis Scotland, a national organization that operates local rape centers, makes this point in a short ad, appropriately titled “Not Ever”.

Launched in 2010, the popular ad campaign is making the rounds on the web, as seen on Upworthy and other sites. It’s intended to push people to think about established prejudices when it comes to rape culture. For example, phrases like “she asked for it, she was wearing revealing clothing” or “it’s her fault because she had too much to drink” are often thrown around, inappropriately shifting blame from the male perpetrator to his female victim.

In a "Not Ever" ad the message is clear: victims are not to blame. (Photo: Rape Crisis Scotland)

“These attitudes can make it difficult for women to speak out about being raped, because of fear of being blamed for what has happened,” Rape Crisis Scotland writes about the video. “There are also significant concerns about the impact these attitudes might have on rape survivors’ ability to access justice, in terms of attitudes which jury members might hold.”

And this negative way of thinking is more common than you might think—in a Scottish survey of 1,064 adults, almost one in five respondents said a woman was partially to blame for being raped if she is wearing revealing clothing, according to Rape Crisis Scotland.

“Remember that there’s only one person who is responsible for rape and it’s not the victim. It doesn’t matter what you wear, how many sexual partners you’ve had, or if you’re out getting drunk with friends—no one deserves to be raped—ever.”

Interested in learning more? Visit the website or join the movement on Facebook.

What do you think needs to change in society's approach to rape and sexual violence? Let us know in the comments.


Kelly Zhou is a student and Bay Area native who loves online multimedia and politics. Email Kelly | @kellyzhou