Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SlutWalk Singapore's Response to NCPC: We're Not Staying Silent

Statement from Slutwalk Singapore on Nation Crime Prevention Council's Festive Season Crime Prevention Campaign

4 January 2012

In November 2011 the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) launched a new campaign titled Festive Season Crime Prevention Campaign. The campaign features various incidents where crimes are likely to take place. Namely, a man about to reach into a woman's bag for her valuables, a man breaking into a home and a group of young men roughed up after a fight. The message: to prevent yourselves from becoming a victim during the festive season by being alert to your surroundings, avoiding confrontation and securing your home with strong grills and locks.

At the same time, one of these collaterals features a woman about to be groped by a man. The advice given is to have someone escort you home when it's late and to avoid walking through dimly lit and secluded areas alone. The caption: Don't get rubbed the wrong way.

In response to SlutWalk Singapore's comment on Facebook questioning the victim-blaming nature of the campaign, the following response was received:

Many thanks for taking time to read our NCPC adverts developed for our festive season crime prevention campaign.

In response to SlutWalker Singapore x Kuala Lumpur's comment on the outrage of modesty (OM) poster, we would like to share that the messages were crafted to address the public in general. Through this advertising campaign, we hope to
remind people to take extra precaution so that they do not become victims of crime during this festive season. This same approach is taken for our other messages - burglary, pickpocketing & housebreaking.

We hope that we have addressed your concerns.

We wish to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year.

NCPC Administrative

Slutwalk Singapore would firstly like to thank NCPC for their response, and similarly extend our festive greetings for the new year.

More importantly, we would like to address the implications in the campaign and NCPC's more recent response.

The similar approach to other messages, as cited by NCPC, such as burglary, pickpocketing and housebreaking calls into question the very basis of Slutwalk both in Singapore and around the world.

NCPC refers to the similarities between a campaign to prevent unlawful access to a person's property and to a person's body. SlutWalk Singapore would like to point out the differences.

While Slutwalk Singapore agrees that caution is necessary and can decrease the chances of unlawful acts against a person, this is secondary to the nature of our cause.

Claiming that a similar approach can be taken to protecting your property and your body is akin to saying that breaking someone's window and breaking someone's arm is the same thing. By the same token, is breaking into someone's home the same as breaking into a person's body?

Indeed it is wrong for a person's property to be unlawfully gained, damaged or used in any way without their consent. But more importantly, a person's body is something far more sacred and personal than any object one owns. Slutwalk Singapore stands against this clear objectification of a woman's body and argues against NCPC's stand that a similar approach should be taken to protect a woman's body and a woman's mobile phone.

To say Don't Steal, Don't Rob and Don't Fight are all worthy causes that should also be addressed. But at the core of Slutwalk Singapore's cause lies a very simple message: Don't Rape.

Walking down a dark alley alone is neither the most common circumstance for assault nor is it an invitation for unwelcome advances. With this in mind, Slutwalk Singapore would like to reiterate our aversion to the campaign and once again remind the relevant authorities that under no circumstances is any form of rape or assault the victim's fault, nor has she contributed to the crime in any way by means of her being alone at night or returning home unescorted.

Slutwalk Singapore

1 comment:

  1. I always thought the campaign implied there was a "right way" to be rubbed...

    In fact when I first saw it I thought it was an ad for a rap band...

    Just awful advertising