Pennsylvania Agency Drops Date Rape Ads After Victims Complain

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Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board ads that went up on Halloween appeared to blame heavy-drinking women for date rape, and their friends for not watching out for them, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. The ad never mentions the fictional rapist, but scores of real assault victims were traumatized by the images and words the agency used. The ads, funded by state liquor sales, featured a pair of naked legs on a tiled floor with underwear down at the ankles.

“Date Rape: See what happens when your friends drink too much,” one ad read. Another read “Sexual Assault: That’s what Anne’s attorney will call it a month from now. She said no, but he kept going. And now, your friend is on his bathroom floor, bruised and victimized.” Almost immediately, the board started fielding complaints from rape victims, and it removed the ads this week. “They felt like they were reliving it,” spokeswoman Stacey Witalec said of the victims who had contacted the agency. “I’ve spoken to them personally, and my staff has spoken to them. They were making an impression.”

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