The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) recently aired ads that tell women who are date-raped that they have only themselves and their friends to blame (picture below).
PLCB spent $600,000 on the campaign, produced by the Pittsburgh-based Neiman Group, which included advertisements on the web and internet radio Pandora.
The ad linked to the Control Tonight website, which includes a play by play of an evening gone wrong: “3:14am. Sexual Assault. That's what Anne's attorney will call it a month from now. She said no, but he kept going. And now, your friend is on his bathroom floor, bruised and victimized. See how you could have prevented this.”
PhiladelphiaWeekly.com reports that PLCB decided to pull the ad after hearing from hundreds of rape victims via phone calls and emails.
PLCB spokesperson Stacey Witalec stated: “We feel very strong, and still do, that when we entered the initial discussion about doing a campaign like this it was important to bring the most difficult conversations about over-consumption of alcohol to the forefront and all of the dangers associated with it—date rape being one of these things."
“That being said, due to the number of concerns that we heard about that specific ad, and the victims especially that we heard from talking about how the image … made them feel victimized all over again, we felt it was prudent to pull it.”
Ironically, Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn’t allow expert testimony in rape cases.
“We’ve had several cases where juries have acquitted serial rapists because they felt the victims’ behavior after the assault was counterintuitive,” says Deborah Harley, chief of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.