Today, reader Kate sent me a link to this anti-rape campaign, and I was extremely impressed with it. Unfortunately, a bit of further research showed that the campaign isn’t recent; other blog posts I found indicate that it’s from 2001 or earlier. So you may have seen it before. But I hadn’t, and I liked it enough that I thought it was worth posting about, anyway.The campaign is called, as each poster indicates, This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me. It was created by an organization called Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, which has since changed its name to Peace Over Violence. The campaign consists of black and white images of women in positions that our society believes either make women prone to rape or makes rape okay, with the words “this is not an invitation to rape me” placed over top in red.

I think that all of the posters covered an impressive and commendable breadth of sexual assault myths. I came up with a few more images that they could have used — a disabled women, a man holding a gun, an undocumented worker — but still think that they did an excellent job with covering a wide range of issues and the most commonly-heard rape apologist arguments. My only genuine criticism is that most of the women (and men) in the photographs appear to be white. The photo above is the only one that seems to clearly feature people of color. I find a couple of others to be indiscernible and the rest to be all very clearly white women. With black and white photos that don’t show faces, more obviously darker-skinned women of color would have been a good thing in terms of making the campaign relevant to POC communities.

My favorite posters are after the jump, but I strongly encourage you to take a minute to go look at them all. Because they’re good.


1 Tracey December 28, 2007 at 11:34 pm

I totally remember this campaign, and I remember being struck by it. I’m not sure how widely they aired, but there were TV commercials, too. I remember one where a woman stepped out of an elevator and the camera zoomed in on her cleavage and the words “This is not an invitation for rape” came up on the screen. It was before I had ever actually read or thought about how victim-blaming works, and even though I didn’t need the ad to teach me that no woman is ever “asking for it”, it certainly made me reflect more on how often woman are blamed for sexual assault. Thanks for reminding me of this campaign.

2 cripchick December 29, 2007 at 5:40 am

i like your ideas for posters and you’re right the photos all pictured white women. still like the message of the posters behind the jump though, particularly the first two.

3 zombie z December 30, 2007 at 10:01 pm

I love this and will be linking to it on my blog. Old or not, images like these need to be spread everywhere. Looks like those posters can be purchased on the website for $10/ea.

4 Cara December 30, 2007 at 11:44 pm

I saw, that zombie, and I wanted to look but every time I tried to open the catalogue, the adobe file just froze up my computer in each of several attempts. So figured that the file wasn’t available anymore. Did you get it to open?

5 Lara December 31, 2007 at 12:40 am

Outstanding campaign. May I link here? My site is Glad I stumbled on this blog. It’s terrific resource material and a great morale booster. (I live in the sticks with my traditional husband next to his traditional company full of traditional employees and their traditional wives. At times I feel like the only person left who’s on my side! Traditional is fine–for traditional people. Lots of pressure and guilt-tripping. Hence–”terrific morale booster.”)

6 Cara December 31, 2007 at 10:51 am

Of course you can! I encourage anyone to link to me anytime they want! :) (except for you, MRAs. you’re more trouble than you’re worth)

7 RowdyKittens December 31, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Awesome post and comments.

The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault has a really cool social marketing campaign called MyStrength…Check it out:

8 Sicily January 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm

These posters are amazing. Thank you for sharing. I am working on some art projects that address violence against women… and I carry some homemade stickers that read “Stop Degrading Women” to address offensive things I see.

I am a rape victim and since my rape the sickness in our culture has been revealed to me. I decided to go back to school for Women’s Studies to try and be a part of the solution to end violence against women. Talking about sexual violence is huge.

I made a video talking about it… so that I might be able to win a scholarship for my education as I fight the good fight.

Check it out at –
My video is in the College Contest section and it is called “Christy’s Tuition Contest Video”

If you can please vote for the video too. The winner is purely decided by the votes. You need to sign up for a user name with Trugo… but it is really easy.

If I can win this scholarship. I can work to encourage people to talk about ending violence against women.

I know the pain of victim blaming. I know what it is like to lose friends who just want me to get over it. I know how difficult the justice system is. I really believe we must work to change the culture. We have a ton of work to do… But I am an activist now for life. Thanks and Peace.

9 megan November 3, 2008 at 10:30 am

They’ve just recently adopted this campaign in sctoland actually:

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