RCNI call for the immediate removal of Diageo/Role-models advert

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) call for the immediate removal of all Diageo/Role-models advert which blames victims of sexual violence for the crimes that have been committed against them.

Clíona Saidléar, RCNI Director, said ‘the latest Diageo/Role-models advertisement features a young woman returned home after a night out clearly upset, with her mother standing in the bedroom doorway. The tag line read: ‘Who’s following in your footsteps: Out-of-control-drinking has consequences.’ The sinister inference is that the young girl has been attacked on her way home. The message is it’s her fault for being drunk and what is more it is also her mother’s fault for her own drinking habits.

‘The belief that drunk girls are ‘asking for it’ is one that needs to be strongly challenged as it is one that we know perpetrators use to select and target their victims knowing this cultural attitude will mean they get away with it. Disappointingly, the out-of-control campaign instead of challenging it has reinforced it here.

‘Not only is the survivor blamed, the survivors’ mother is also in the frame. The perpetrator is not in this picture. This is a harmful, regressive and hurtful message which targets the vulnerable. Survivors of sexual violence should never be used in this manner.

‘This latest ad builds on the shaming of women theme that can be seen in much drink related campaigning. The out-of-control campaign which started by asking women if they were ‘embarrassed’ while they were being photographed without their consent in a potentially compromising position, has now progressed  to blaming victims of rape for their own rape.

‘This is utterly unacceptable and RCNI demand that Diageo remove these offending advertisements immediately. We ask all papers and commercial platforms carrying this ad to take it down and refuse to run such dangerous cultural messages of rape victim blaming.’