The girl in the pink dress holds a mickey of booze in her
left hand as she stumbles out of her high heels towards a car – with a young
man holding her up.
It’s young men the poster is targeting with its message:
“Just because you help her home… Doesn’t mean you get to help yourself.”
The anti-rape poster campaign was made to be shocking so
that it is talked about by young people who frequent bars in Ottawa's Byward Market
The Ottawa Police Service and several community organizations
unveiled the posters at City Hall yesterday before a conference on Sexual
Violence, Youth and Drinking
Deputy Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said that poster of
the girl in the pink dress is “eerie” because it closely resembles a recent
string of sexual assaults in the Byward Market area.
“He would offer rides to women in the Byward Market, and if
you look at the poster… the circumstances are very familiar to and similar to
the incidents we investigated,” he said.
“With this campaign we’re trying to focus on the men who are
potentially out there victimizing women with sexual assault,” said Bordeleau. “It’s an
aggressive poster campaign where the bar owners in the market are
participating, sending a strong message to you men that we don’t want them to
be that young guy.”
Steve Monuk, co-chair of the Byward Market BIA safety and
security committee, said they will be displayed, mostly in the men’s washrooms,
in the York Entertainment chain of bars.
“I found them a little shocking, but I’m not the demographic.
When I did show them to the demographic, they found them informative,” Monuk said.
When he showed the poster to the hundreds of 18- to 22-year-olds
who work in his bars, the message hit home, he said.
The groups behind the poster campaign are the Byward Market
BIA, Ottawa Police Service, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Ottawa Coalition To
End Violence Against Women and the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre.