Shock Value

by Web Intern

Amnesty International is running a new ad campaign in the UK. Their posters are being displayed on the trains (‘tubes’ if you’re across the pond) and their message is getting a lot of attention; ‘RAPE IS CHEAPER THAN BULLETS’.
For a nonchalant passer-by, this poster might not be doing its job. Some folks have deemed the ad offensive, as can be expected for any signage with ‘bullets’ or ‘rape’ present. For others it won’t provoke any more than a ‘what the fuck?!’.
But those who see the surprising ad and look more closely will find out that it is intended to make people aware of the sexual violence against women that takes place during wartime. Sexual assault is a common crime against women during global conflict and the perpetrators almost always go unpunished. The UN estimates that between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped during the 1992-5 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If those numbers don’t make your stomach churn, I don’t know what will.
When you think about the ad, in its simply stated manner, rape doesn’t have a dollar amount compared to guns and ammo. Which is why sexual violence towards women, teens, and very young girls is so frequent and rarely taken seriously. The UN has only recently declared rape a war crime, finally acknowledging that rape is used as a weapon. I think that Amnesty International is doing a great thing with this ad campaign, I just hope it gets the attention they’re intending.
So what do you think? Would this ad catch your eye? Is it getting the appropriate message across?


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