Recently, the Edmonton police service started an advertising campaign called “Don’t Be That Guy,” which advises that sex without consent constitutes sexual assault.
A group called Men’s Rights Edmonton started their own campaign called “Don’t Be That Girl,” which suggests some women lie about being raped and that rape is over-reported.
The poster depicts attractive young women drinking in the company of young men, and has the caption: “Just because you regret a one-night stand doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual.”
Men’s Rights Edmonton says the poster was meant to provoke discussion about false accusations and double standards.
“Nobody wants to see sexual assault happen, nobody wants to see rape happen, but we have to stop thinking of this as a gender problem,” says a member, who would only identify himself as Raz.
"The presumption is out of the gate that you are probably guilty, and it’s because of this misinformation that our society has become saturated with.”
Karen Smith, executive director of the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, says she was saddened by the posters.
“I’m really disappointed that these people would decide to not recognize that there’s a significant problem of sexual assault in our community,” Smith said.
The Edmonton police say their campaign was meant to encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward.
“To demean these crimes goes against that and to belittle them goes against that,” says acting Insp. Sean Armstrong.
Police say about one per cent of sexual assaults they investigate are found to have been fabricated.