"If you could see yourself, would you see rape?" With this question, a controversial new ad campaign in the UK aims to change the way teens view rape. The public service announcement uses shock value to convey the fact that rape doesn't always take the form of a violent attack from a hooded criminal -- it can happen within committed relationships.
The perception-altering ad is aimed at teens who might never associate rape with themselves or their group of friends. The 60-second video depicts a nice-looking teenage boy watching himself from behind a glass wall as things are getting heated with his girlfriend. Initially they're kissing and nothing seems to be wrong, but he becomes forceful and the girl resists his advances -- at this point, the boy begins screaming at himself to stop and pounding on the glass.
Commissioned by the British government, the PSA is part of the UK Home Office's "This Is ABUSE" campaign for teen rape prevention. Targeted at 13 to 18-year-olds, the ads will air during popular teen shows like Skins.
Airing on the heels of teen dating violence awareness month, the PSA highlights the fact that roughly one-third of teen girls and one in six teenage boys has experienced sexual violence from their partner. Teen dating violence has been making U.S. headlines recently, as well. Students and an assemblyman in California are pushing Lara's Bill, a piece of legislation that would introduce anti-dating abuse policies and provide resources to California public high school students. And the state of Oregon also recently passed a bill aimed at preventing teen dating violence by requiring schools to address the issue.
What do you think about the new PSA? Is it important to use shock value to convey the seriousness of the issue, or does it cross a line? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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