SkyTrain sexual assault ads pulled by Vancouver Transit Police
Removal prompted by complaints that campaign blamed the victims
A sexual assault poster campaign across the SkyTrain system is being hastily removed after TransLink received complaints that the wording of the ads suggested victims were to blame.
The posters — several hundred of which were rolled out last week inside SkyTrain cars — was part of an ongoing sexual assault awareness campaign by Transit Police.
The ads read: "If somebody does something that doesn't feel right, then it's wrong. Not reporting sexual assault is the real shame."
It wasn't long before complaints were made, some calling TransLink out on social media.
Transit Police spokesperson, Anne Drennan says the intention was never to put the blame on victims, but to encourage victims to report incidents and prevent perpetrators getting away with assaults.
'In no way did we intend to put the blame on victims'
When the complaints began to arrive, they started looking at the ads from a different perspective, Drennan says.
"We [could] see where they are coming from," she says.
The ads will be taken down over the coming days as cars return to service yards, Drennan says, and will be replaced by new posters with wording approved by an advisory council that includes representatives from women's support groups.
"We would also like to apologize to anyone who has felt offended by these messages," Drennan says. "And just reassure them that we are committed to this campaign.
"In no way did we intend to put the blame on the victims."
With files from Terry Donnelly