Police department writes rape poem in the style of "The Night Before Christmas"

It is offensive and really awful

Published December 13, 2013 8:30PM (EST)

    (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-282061p1.html'>  Hasloo Group Production Studio </a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
( Hasloo Group Production Studio via Shutterstock)

Police in Nottinghamshire, England created something that they are calling an anti-rape public service announcement but is actually just a terrible thing that mentions rape. It is a poem. Told in the style of "The Night Before Christmas."


What? Who? How? Exactly.

Women's rights advocates in the community were understandably shocked by the department's approach to "raising awareness," and requested the message be removed and replaced with something that doesn't trivialize rape.

"I'm quite appalled that the authorities thought this would have the desired effect on perpetrators," Cathy Saunders, of Midlands Women's Aid, told the BBC. "I personally think it should be withdrawn and replaced with something that has a little bit more insight and advice for women on how to keep themselves safe."

But apparently the department's offensive Christmas poem isn't the first time they've angered sexual assault survivors and victims' advocates.

"We have been heavily criticized in the past for focusing on victims and giving out persistent warnings to victims about keeping safe," said Helen Chamberlain from Nottinghamshire Police. "This year we decided to try a different tactic and target the perpetrator."

Here's an idea for Chamberlain and the department: Next year, why don't they actually work in collaboration with these advocates and learn how to talk productively about rape. You know, without using cloying rhyme schemes or bizarre references to Christmas poems.

h/t Jezebel

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Rape Rape Culture Sexual Assault Violence Against Women