Victim-blaming sexual harassment “PSAs” from Iran

Posted by Tom Megginson | 17-05-2013 20:01 | Category: Women's Issues

Translation: “Veil is Security”

We talk a lot, in the west, about victim-blaming in sexual assault and harassment ads. In Iran, however, deliberate victim-blaming is apparently the preferred strategy.


This collection, put together by Buzzfeed’s Copyranter, provides translations which I have included below the images.

Translation: “Improper Hijab is the starting point of harassment for those who seek to harass.”

Translation: “Psychologists say: those who dress inappropriately and use lots of makeup have character issues.”

Translation: “We ourselves invite [sexual] harassment: Girls who do not dress properly are harassed and targeted in the streets.”

According to Wikipedia:

“Bad hijab” ― exposure of any part of the body other than hands and face – is subject to punishment of up to 70 lashes or 60 days imprisonment. In April 2007, the Tehran police, (which is under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s supervision), began the most fierce crackdown on what is known as “bad hijab” in more than a decade. In the capital Tehran thousands of Iranian women were cautioned over their poor Islamic dress and several hundred arrested.

In response to a gang-rape at a garden party in Khomeinishahr in 2011, in which several women wer attacked, community leaders had this to say (via BBC):

“Those who were raped were not praiseworthy,” said the imam of Khomeinishahr, Musa Salemi, in his Friday sermon.

“Only two out of the 14 were related. They had come to our town to party and provoked the others [the rapists] by their wine drinking and dancing.”

His sentiments were echoed in comments made by the town’s police commander, Revolutionary Guards Col Hossein Yardoosti.

“I believe the raped women’s families are to blame, because if they had proper clothing and if the sound of their music was not so loud, the rapist would not have imagined it as a depraved get-together,” he was quoted as saying.

Reports said that he was considering legal action against the rape victims for their behaviour.

Update: Adland posted about an ad very similar to the “flies” one above back in 2008:


Copyranter (Buzzfeed)

My comment


Your comment will not be visible until a moderator approves it.

Some rights reserved 2005-2013 Osocio/Houtlust.
Disclaimer. Terms of use. Privacy statement.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Support us

Do you like our blog? Support us with a donation.
We're non-commercial. We all make Osocio pro bono in our spare time and we can use some support.

image of a graduation cap

Recent in Academy

Is this eating disorder ad too sexy?

It’s a serious question. This woman has the typical idealized body of a model, and despite the scary body painting, the portrayal is undeniably drawing attention to her curves and bare skin. When I think about eating disorders, I try to imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a funhouse…
Read more

Book review: Hidden Persuasion

33 psychological influence techniques in advertising Designing for behavior change is our thing here on Osocio.  We discuss the wide area of social campaigns from all over the world. ‘Is it a good or bad campaign’ is our first question. And we often judge a campaign based on professional principles…
Read more

About Osocio

Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
Read more

(the about page is also available in Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese 汉语/漢語, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Nihongo 日本語, Ivrit עברית, Filipino, Polski, Português, Russian Русский язык, Slovenčina, Suomi, Svenska and Türkçe)