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Creators of RapeJoke PSA aim to reshape conversation about sexual assault




Feminist leaders and activists hold a protest in front of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarters demanding that IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn be removed from his post in Washington, DC, on May 18 2011. Strauss-Kahn resigned his post via a letter sent from jail on May 18.
Feminist leaders and activists hold a protest in front of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarters demanding that IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn be removed from his post in Washington, DC, on May 18 2011. Strauss-Kahn resigned his post via a letter sent from jail on May 18.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

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"What were you wearing?" "Are you sure it was rape?" "Did you fight back?" These are among the questions that the creators of a new advocacy campaign never want to hear asked of a sexual assault victim.

The creators of RapeJoke.com were victims of sexual violence who say their overall message is that sexual assault victims should not be treated like fragile freaks, because it suggests that rape isn't a common occurrence. In their video, they also implore viewers to believe people who say they've been raped.

The campaign comes at a time when the national conversation about sexual assault is heated.

In a recent Los Angeles Times column, Meghan Daum questions the lack of nuance coming from some circles.

"What are we to make of activists who say things like 'All women should be believed unconditionally?,'" Daum asks.

What do you think of the messages in the public service announcement (PSA) video?

Guests:

Stephanie McCanles, LA-based advocate on sexual assault issues; co-creator of RapeJoke.com

Heather Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of “City Journal.”



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