We all know that winter is a time when local authorities put a lot of time and effort into telling women not to get themslves raped over the festive season. This year the victim-blaming seems to have extended to domestic violence as well.
Richmondshire County Council is running a 'hard hitting poster campaign' this Christmas, telling women that 'not everyone gets what they want for Christmas' and urging them:
"Don't be on the receiving end"
The rest of the press release thankfully doesn't expand on the insinuation that it's up to victims to combat domestic violence, but local agencies and businesses will be displaying the posters. According to Kate Williams, who did a bit of detective work to find out more about the campaign, it's a police initiative - and Independent Domestic Abuse Services, quoted in the press relase, had nothing to do with its wording. IDAS's own campaigns hold the perpetrator accountable for comabating DV, with slogans such as "Domestic Abuse. There Is No Excuse" and "Domestic Abuse Is Many Things, But It Is Not Loving".
Would it be that difficult for local authorities and the police to go down the same route? Because there's only so much victim-blaming dressed up as 'trying to help' that we can put up with. No matter how good the intentions of a campaign are, those organising it must always realise that the onus to stop abuse must be on potential perpetrators.