03/12/2013 08:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Singapore Anti-Groping PSA Is Seriously Creepy

For a lesson on how not to address a serious issue like public groping, see this public service announcement from Singapore.

The PSA (scroll down to see it in full), which first appeared at a bus stop in Singapore and was picked up by BuzzFeed, depicts a (seriously creepy) man about to grope a woman and threatens "stiff penalties" for those accused of molestation. It also advances the notion that the victims of such groping are somehow responsible for the incidents by telling women to "avoid walking through secluded areas alone" and "have someone escort you when it's late."

Both BuzzFeed and Jezebel took issue with the tone and content of the government-sponsored ad. Mark Duffy at BuzzFeed highlighted the PSA's "awful (but typical) strategy of putting all the onus on the potential victim," and a commenter on Jezebel asked, "Why don't they put posters directed against the Gropers that say Don't grope, Don't harrass, don't abuse etc rather than the quadrillionth announcement telling women what they shouldn't do?" Another commenter criticized the "Boys will forever be boys" attitude that she felt the ad promoted.

Victim-blaming is, of course, not limited to Singapore. Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board and the West Mercia police in the U.K. used similarly misguided tactics to combat sexual assault. Here's hoping that Singapore will take a cue from the U.K. Home Office's This Is Abuse campaign next time, which puts the responsibility where it belongs -- on the perpetrator.

LOOK: Singapore's Creepy Anti-Groping PSA




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