A decal placed on the back of a pickup truck spotted in Leeds, England, has caused an uproar among many who say that it is insensitive.
The decal, which was placed on the back of a pickup truck and was photographed by an offended citizen, is not new. In recent years, pictures of trucks with the very same decal have gone viral online, but after the picture was snapped in Leeds, people have been voicing their disgust.
The decal is an optical illusion made to look like a woman is bound and gagged in the back of a truck, and while some may find it funny or clever, others think that there’s nothing cute about it.
“Making a joke out of this imagery is proliferating this violence against women and making it acceptable. We mustn’t play down the seriousness of it,” said Jo, a member of the campaign fighting to get the decal banned and a former kidnapping victim herself.
The woman who posted the picture originally claims she was walking through Leeds with her three-year-old daughter and spotted it on the back of the truck. She quickly snapped a picture and posted it to social media, and soon after, a campaign to get the image banned was launched. The mother claims that when she went to police, they told her that they were “sure it’s nothing” and that it was probably just an advertisement for a strip club.
Jo says that regardless of what the decal is used for, it shouldn’t be publicly displayed.
“I do not want to be witnessing this when I have been kidnapped and held hostage in a caravan for several days. I thought – what if my daughter had seen it?” said Jo to Metro UK. “I personally think that is worse because you are combining incitement to kidnap with sexual arousal. It makes the whole thing so much more sinister.”
Since the image went viral and outrage started to pour in online, Leeds police have decided to do something about it. Metro UK reports that they have given the driver of the truck 48 hours to remove the decal, with one female officer calling it “very offensive and deeply shocking.” It’s not clear if the driver has removed the image.