Join 3,439 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Who are you?
March 21, 2013 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Keep an eye on your mates when you're out – You look after them, they look after you. It's all about having fun and making it home safely. It's not about being a hero – it's about doing something small. (7:58) A New Zealand PSA about sexual assault prevention focusing on bystanders [WARNING sexual assault triggers abound]
"The multi media campaign is targeted at young people and those who work or interact with them. It is designed to:
- Improve understanding of issues concerning consent to sex
- Encourage individuals to respond to sexual violence in a manner appropriate to the situation
- Empower people to help others
- Encourage community discussion on sexual violence prevention.
The messages pose these questions:
- What if we looked after each other?
- What if we became ‘ethical’ bystanders?
- What if we took action that could help keep others safe?
Being an ethical bystander is all about doing little things, long before the point of harm is reached. It’s not about being a hero or putting yourself at risk, but it is about preventing sexual violence. An estimated 1 in 4 women and 1 in 20 men in New Zealand will be victims of a sexual assault at some point in their lives. Sexual violence can often be prevented if someone does something – however small. Offenders are most often known to the victim – and the events leading up to the assault are often witnessed by others. Most of us want to help if we are in an unsafe situation – but we often aren’t sure how to step in and help others."
posted by Blasdelb (26 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm glad the comment section for the video is disabled.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:49 PM on March 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's good to get a discussion going. It would be even better if one of the choices were to be the guy who doesn't rape someone. That narrative is conspicuously absent.

In that vein: Top Ten Rape Prevention Tips.
posted by harujion at 3:49 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this.

A stranger in a bar did this very kind of step-up thing once when I was out and there was a guy who was staring at me in some very creepy way. I'd actually approached two friends at the other end of the bar and asked if they could pretend they knew me to maybe scare that guy off. After about 20 minutes I was ready go to home anyway, and thanked them, figuring the creepy guy had gotten the point. But the creepy guy followed me out of the bar and about a half a block down the street, hollering "why didn't you talk to me, bitch?"

But fortunately one of those other guys had decided to keep an eye on things just in case, and so he also came out, and called to me as well. "You alright?" he said, approaching me, arms held out in a gesture that could be either "I'm just shrugging" or "I'm getting ready to hug you". I walked over and hugged him and said something about catching up for brunch, great to see you, yadda yadda, and he stayed hugging me until the creep went back into the bar. Then we broke the hug and shook hands and introduced ourselves.

Teaching people not to be that jerk who rapes is the main priority. But teaching people to not just let it happen - much less film it and post it to youtube - is a good secondary thing too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2013 [72 favorites]


"It's good to get a discussion going. It would be even better if one of the choices were to be the guy who doesn't rape someone. That narrative is conspicuously absent."

That would be pretty neat, especially if they could have found a way for it to fit their visual narrative format, though I think that the effect it would have is still accomplished by the film. It shows plainly how the kinds of predatory behavior that are sadly so often celebrated as just part of dudehood lead people to become rapists worth stopping. It still directly confronts rape culture by problematizing it through the eyes of bystanders.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:09 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Awesome post you just made. The time I was most brutally raped I was falling over drunk (and probably had been rufied already) and some coworkers had taken my keys and were going to give me a ride home when another coworker intervened saying "No no, I'll take her home, it'll be fine."

I don't blame them AT ALL for not knowing he would do that, (I was really surprised he did that too)...but at the same time, it would be good to get better instinctual responses where if a girl is falling down drunk (especially if that is an unusual thing for the girl in question meaning she might either have been drugged or not be used to managing heavy drinking), and there is a female available- it's probably better that a female friend or group of people that includes females make sure she gets home rather than a male that is not already her boyfriend or close and trustworthy friend. Work acquaintance or someone she knows not well- is probably not so much great idea. But of course it's no ones fault but the offender if a perpetrator comes across as trustworthy and no one can tell something is up. I can see why intervening seems awkward but I think it's more of a "check in just in case" sort of thing, because it could make a difference. If I had gone home with friend group A, that entire night wouldn't have happened.

I also think this, rightly, questions a lot of assumed biased that drunken hookup sex is automatically ok. It's kind of a problematic cultural thing, and while I get that drunk people have sex some times, it probably should become more normal to assume a drunk person you don't know is not a good candidate for sex, and that if you're PLANNING to hope for a hookup for the night it's actually best to refrain from getting trashed, and seek a potential partner who is also not completely trashed. If you both like getting drunk and then having sex and are already in a relationship, it's another matter, but I think the cultural trend that drunk people are good candidates for first time sex should be dropped. I think during the time I tried drinking for 21-24 I probably had a lot of questionable sex that wasn't so much wanted as "just happened" before I realized I have a very low tolerance and drinking anything more than one drink doesn't work for me.

The cultural shift needs to stop being "so women shold never get drunk or have problems learning their own limits with alcohol" but also "men should not have sex with drunk women even if the woman got drunk or even if she IS an alcoholic" Being an alcoholic, or still learning how to build healthy drinking behavior and what your limits are, doesn't make someone deserve rape.
posted by xarnop at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


This is a good start and exactly what a "men can stop rape," culture should focus on. A shorter version with just the interventions would be good, as would a house party version. Interventions for locker room discussions are needed. Straight forward talk for boys is needed.

As offputting as that Reddit thread was (http://www.metafilter.com/118358/TRIGGERS-Yesterday-a-Redditor-solicited-stories-of-sexual-assault-from-assailants), it showed a very clear line of education for teaching young men. Very clearly echoed was the idea that, "I looked into her face and realized I must stop." We could make headway by teaching enthusiastic consent and by celebrating enthusiastic consent in our culture. There will still be monsters, but monsters have a habit of pushing at the edge of what is acceptable and testing to see if they can push more. Move the "overton window" as it were, and even monsters will change their frame of reference.

The "rape prevention tips" joke has been overplayed. It only really offers snark, which maybe feels good in that poking a tooth ache kind of way, but ultimately offers very little towards solutions. A real culture of "men can stop rape," needs to start with a discussion of real solutions.
posted by Skwirl at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


You know, I was a bartender for the better part of 10 years in my twenties, and always cut people off before they got stupidly wasted.

PSAs like this is a very good start. Making one without the context of alcohol being involved is also needed, because in NZ, alcohol is used as a crutch for way too many things. It can complicate the argument (even though, don't get me wrong, it shouldn't).
posted by New England Cultist at 5:34 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Being an alcoholic, or still learning how to build healthy drinking behavior and what your limits are, doesn't make someone deserve rape."

.. even though way too many people don't believe this.
posted by markkraft at 5:46 PM on March 21, 2013


At work so haven't been able to watch the video yet, but it sounds good, and definitely great to see that kind of thing happening! Wish they would have a similar campaign here in Oz.

Some of the comments here, especially Skwirl's, reminds me of a blog post I've seen about a teacher who had some experience with offering solutions rather than snark, especially along the lines of teaching enthusiastic consent.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:04 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]



"It's good to get a discussion going. It would be even better if one of the choices were to be the guy who doesn't rape someone. That narrative is conspicuously absent."


I was thinking about that, because obviously the most effective way to prevent rape would be the potential rapist to just not rape. But on reflection it seems like that would be an entirely different PSA. This one was an appeal to people to identify themselves with... the roommate, friend, bartender, concerned stranger etc. And asking people to identify themselves as an unsympathetic character, a rapist nonetheless, would be a hard sell.

To be fair, it is a valuable question to ask people to consider, and it strikes at the core, but I think it falls outside the scope of this PSA's mission.


(NZ seems to put out some decent PSAs)
posted by edgeways at 6:07 PM on March 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


But what do you do with the people who don't consider what happened to the girl in the PSA rape or sexual assault? "It's all in good fun, mates!"
posted by schroedinger at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2013


Well the good news is that the people who don't consider that rape are being exposed to the idea that not everyone agrees with them. The more they get the message the consensus is that that IS rape, the more they might be at less risk of committing rape without realizing "it's rape". This is why assuming the nice people you know all understand what is and isn't rape... or haven't committed it already-- is not a good assumption to make. Speaking up can make a difference in people hearing that what they assumed was ok, isn't universal considered ok. And maybe they should at least reconsider their position.
posted by xarnop at 6:31 PM on March 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


The phrase we learned this under is bystander intervention.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:42 PM on March 21, 2013


harujion: "It's good to get a discussion going. It would be even better if one of the choices were to be the guy who doesn't rape someone. That narrative is conspicuously absent."

I disagree. I'm not sure there's any way to say "don't rape people" without being sarcastic, and I'm not convinced that lecturing rapists will do much good at this point. The "rape prevention tips" thing is a nice illustration of the fact that victims of rape should not be tasked with preventing it, because that constitutes victim-blaming; but while that point is a fine one, and I'm glad it's become a well-known illustration over the past year or so, I don't think it's very constructive for preventing rape in the long run.

I really liked this video because it actually tackles the societal structures that allow rape to proliferate; rape is something we have to come together to prevent, and that generally means watching out for each other.
posted by koeselitz at 7:51 PM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


The time I was most brutally raped I was falling over drunk (and probably had been rufied already) and some coworkers had taken my keys and were going to give me a ride home when another coworker intervened saying "No no, I'll take her home, it'll be fine."
This happened to a friend of mine as well. She reported it, the cops came, and promptly made it her fault. She had to DEMAND a rape kit on pain of civil suit to get anyone to pay attention to her. Cops never did shit and actively villainized her--even the female cops and hospital techs. ...Simply because she was at a work party where lots of people were letting loose, and she had the gall to let herself be one of them.

There but for the grace of the FSM go I. Heavens knows I've had the audacity to let myself get not sober sometimes.
posted by smirkette at 7:58 PM on March 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


But what do you do with the people who don't consider what happened to the girl in the PSA rape or sexual assault? "It's all in good fun, mates!"

You report, prosecute and convict them. You cover that in the media, so that people like them will know that what happened was wrong (as if they didn't already), and if they do it, they will be reported, prosecuted and convicted.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:13 PM on March 21, 2013


Wow, this brought tears to my eyes.

I was almost raped by a manager in my company, when I had gone to his city on a business trip.
I was the most drunk I'd even been in my life (I was only barely conscious). I don't remember drinking so much. When everything was happening, I could see it in a delayed, blurry haze- it felt like I was watching a horrible movie. He ignored me when I told him he is married and shouldn't do things like this, or when I flat out told him NO, I will go back to my hotel by myself... I lost hope and began to retreat into a mental shell, thinking it will be over soon, just get it over with, then he will leave... luckily just as things started to get very bad, a different thought popped into my head - this is exactly how people get raped and killed. It's happening NOW. Until that point I was too scared and frightened by my own immobility, and how he wasn't listening when I said No over and over again. The realization that in a few minutes this would be rape chilled me to the core. I gathered enough energy to scream and punch him, which scared him off of me.

I do remember being SO upset at all the people who must have seen him literally dragging me around- the other male colleague at dinner who suddenly left us alone, the staff at the karaoke box who saw me unable to stand up on my own, the hotel reception staff who surely must have seen him propping me up while rushing through the lobby. And later, angry at all the coworkers who knew about his reputation but didn't warn me.

As expected, most of the people I later told said it was my own fault. I definitely will never put myself in a position where it could happen again. But I would have been so grateful if someone would have stepped in.
posted by koakuma at 8:17 PM on March 21, 2013 [25 favorites]


They´re starting to push bystander intervention in the Navy. I hope they stick with it because I don´t know what else they can do that´ll be effective.
posted by concrete at 8:26 PM on March 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of Amanda Marcotte's analysis of a similar set of ads targeted at men in Edmonton (Don't Be That Guy), which has proven to be a success.
posted by everydayanewday at 8:42 PM on March 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like how it emphasizes specific lines:

Flatmate: "Thanks for bringing her home... Fine, I'll get you a blanket for the couch."

Stranger: [pointing] "Is she all right?"

Employee: "Who are you here with?"

Best Friend: "I'm gonna go home, do you wanna go home? Yeah? See you mate."

In a situation where you see something like that happening, it's going to be tense and ambiguous. Having some pre-programmed lines in your mind, that work to defuse and rectify the situation, will surely help, as the PSA makers undoubtedly know.
posted by kadonoishi at 9:24 PM on March 21, 2013 [17 favorites]


New Zealand seems to produce a lot of good PSAs. I'm echoing kadonoishi here, but I really appreciate the fact that the suggested interventions are short and low on drama. They're the sort of things I could imagine myself doing.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:26 PM on March 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure there's any way to say "don't rape people" without being sarcastic, and I'm not convinced that lecturing rapists will do much good at this point.

The Scottish managed, mainly because that campaign wasn't set up as "lecturing rapists" so much as focusing on all those situations that we sort of don't like to think of as rape or sexual assault, but are, on the same sort of lines as e.g. a drunk driving campaign.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:03 AM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure there's any way to say "don't rape people" without being sarcastic

My issue with that is there no way (now) that I can hear that without hearing it in Andrew Breitbart's deranged voice. Obviously some bad things happened at a few Occupy events, but holding the entire movement responsible for that, when the majority were probably people who already got it, wasn't very rational.
posted by dhartung at 12:21 AM on March 22, 2013


Stuck by EmpressCallipgos's post, more than 25 years later, I still remember the man who stepped in when I was being harassed at a nightclub, and said (completely believably and also untruthfully) "She's my cousin." He wasn't trying to hit on me. He just didn't like the way this guy was hassling me (well, neither did I, but I had no idea what to do about it, and the people I was with ignored it). Stranger bikie dude from Townsville circa 1985 - thank you, I have never forgotten you.
posted by b33j at 2:54 AM on March 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


There has already been some intervention as a direct result of the Sexual Assault Awareness training the Navy gives us, though I think such people would have already stepped in.

Rape, the word and the concept of some chick wanting it despite her saying no or in the gaming sense of a guy getting "pwned" but for different situations, is definitely still a joke at least on the lower levels though. Same with being gay and "no homo" after a guy says something nice or seemingly weak or "pussies" out of something. I can't snap at everything without alienating myself completely, so I just make mental check notes that yet again they made fun of each other for "having a vagina" when I'm sitting -right there-.

It's this kind of mentality that makes the movement of intervention that much more difficult, especially in a long term situation with a much higher percentage of stressed out, mentally numb-from-work, "I just want to get wasted and fucked this weekend" men than what is normal.
posted by DisreputableDog at 3:27 AM on March 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was a bystander in a situation like this that was even more clearcut. I fumbled through a confrontation and then lucked out when my girlfrend at the time pointed out a police cruiser to flag down.

Upon reflection, I thought of this line for the future: "if she is that drunk then she has alcohol poisoning or worse. I'm calling 911 for her." Better yet if someone else can call 911 because dude will try to talk you out of the call.

Even though the young woman in my case was falling down drunk and dude was touching all over her, some people minimized the story when told. I can't totally blame that reaction. It's hard to process. The main reason why I had clarity about what was happening was because the guy went totally weasley when I started talking to him, "hey friend, it's cool friend, let's go have a drink inside about it..." And then belligerent when the cop walked up...

I've been the passive bystander too when I couldn't totally ascertain the situation. Having scripts helps. The idea that there are multiple opportunities for bystander intervention helps.
posted by Skwirl at 8:50 AM on March 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


« Older Stop Making Fun of Leaked Washington Post Blogger...  |  About a week ago a series of t... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments