While it’s not the most uplifting or fun topic, one of my areas of interest is sexual assault (if you ever want to kill someone’s interest in you, I find that telling them this is what I study is a great way to have them quickly exit the conversation). A lot of people don’t seem to know that if a person is under the influence of anything they cannot legally consent. This doesn’t mean that a person has to be blacking out, but even a single drink can impair a person’s judgement. It’s important to note that in many parts of the world (including America), the most common date rape drug is actually alcohol.
In light of this, I was interested to read that Scotland Yard police will be sending text messages to people in bars warning them of the risks of sexual assault. According to an article from The Huffington Post UK, this campaign will initially be launched in some of the more popular London bars. There will be posters up, and if partying folks turn on the wi-fi on their phones, they will be able to get text alerts. Not sure how true this is, but a friend said that they will primarily target female phone users (though we’re not sure exactly how they’ll do this).
I personally believe that we shouldn’t be warning or trying to alarm people, but instead using prevention strategies that are not fear-based. Further, sexual assault isn’t just about women. Recently, there have been some really great prevention campaigns that I’ve seen. One of my favorites is from Ottawa Crime Prevention and is called the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign, which I think is brilliant. I will nitpick that the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign is focused only on men, but I do think that it is effective. I agree that people should be aware of how to keep themselves safe, but doing every “right” thing in the world doesn’t guarantee your safety. Assault doesn’t occur because of what someone wears or says, but because of the simple fact that someone assaulted them.
If you got text messages warning you about sexual assault, what would you think? Do you think that sending text messages to warn has the potential to help or not?