Misleading Viral Ad Campaign Tells College Students: Prepare to Be Raped

Will the one-in-five statistic ever die?


Screenshot via The Unacceptable Acceptance Letters

Are you a high school senior, recently admitted to the college of your choice? Congratulations, you are about to be raped. Probably. 

That's according to a new viral awareness campaign launched by members of the creative team behind The Hunting Ground. That film, like the new, short videos, relies on misleading statistics and thinly-veiled junk science to create a public panic about sexual assault on campuses. [Related: "How The Hunting Ground Spreads Myths About Campus Rape"] 

This new ad campaign is, if anything, even more alarmist. The videos, "Unacceptable Acceptance Letters," show high school students joyously reading college admissions letters. Eventually, the letters turn to the subject of rape, and matter-of-factly inform students there is a good chance they will be abused. Prettybird, the production company behind the videos, also purchased ad space in The Harvard Crimson. The ad is a fictitious acceptance letter that warns a hypothetical student: 

"We know that you will make lifelong friends and memories here on campus. We're sorry that one of those memories will include being raped by someone you thought you could trust. You'll fear him the night he presses you against a wall and every day after that." 

The ads conclude with an infamous statistic: one in five women are sexually assaulted in college. 

I presume that the purpose of this campaign is to create awareness about the sexual assault problem on campus. But what Prettybirds has actually done is use inaccurate data to frighten people. The one-in-five statistic is based on several surveys of college-aged women that use slippery language and expansive definitions to inflate the numbers of victims. The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, for instance, uses a definition of sexual assault that includes everything from unwanted touching to forcible, penetrative sex. There's a whole lot of the former—college students getting drunk, awkwardly hooking up, and misreading social cues—but very little of the latter. [Related: "How to Make More Victims of Campus Rape"] 

The ad campaign also seems to double down on the serial predator theory: the idea that most campus rapists are repeat offenders, not one-off mistake makers. The theory, made prominent by celebrity anti-rape psychologist David Lisak, is central to The Hunting Ground's rapists-are-everywhere narrative. It has also been cited by the White House. 

But, as Reason's investigative series on Lisak has shown, the serial predator theory is much less persuasive than is popularly believed. In fact, the study commonly cited in support of it actually had very little to do with campus rape. [Related: "How an Influential Campus Rape Study Skewed the Debate"] 

College campuses are not perfectly safe places, of course. But they are not veritable hunting grounds, either. And non-students are actually at much greater risk of sexual assault. 

The anti-rape activist community likes to portray female students as helpless prey and male students as violent sociopaths. It's a simple, false narrative. The truth is much more ambiguous—students are getting drunk, hooking up, and making mistakes. If we want to make these occurrences less common—and we should—we need to have grown-up conversations about consent education, alcohol abuse, bystander intervention, norms of due process, and related subjects. Panic-inducing assertions that everyone headed for college is about to be raped aren't justified, and they aren't helping. 

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  1. College: Rapier than Prison.

    A New 20/20 and Dateline collaborative expose that shows what happens when you dare get your daughters an education!

  2. For god’s sake, just avoid the Number 6 Dance, people.

    1. This guy must have been Magna Cum Laude.

      1. Well done, Pan Z and Loki.

        Now, would you be so kind as to show me where the redacted women are at?

  3. My name is Inigo Montoya.
    You raped my father.
    Prepare to be raped.

  4. Misleading Viral Ad Campaign Tells College Students: Prepare to Be Raped

    Are they trying to discourage women from going to college? FFS…

    1. Far fewer rapes in the average kitchen. Just sayin’.

    2. It was either this or throw acid in their faces.

      1. Make an attempt to be serious.

    3. Absolutely not. They are trying to keep men out of college. You know, gender pay gap and all.

  5. Grab its motherfucking leg

    1. I cannot believe people thought that UvA bullshit was real! It’s so freaking ridiculous! Lol

  6. Every parent that allows their child to attend college should be prosecuted for child endangerment. Sending them to university is literally no different then handing them a revolver, with one bullet in the chamber, and firing point blank at their knee.


    1. Actually, you have better odds of winning Russian Roulette (5 of 6) than of graduating college unraped (4 of 5).


  7. So why should college be free if they are rape camps?

    1. so you think womenses should pay for their rapes? how gauche.

      1. They pay for their rape kits.

        1. Actually, they don’t (or they shouldn’t; who knows what some people are trying to get away with). The rape kits are for forensic examination and collection of evidence.

          1. I think he was referring to their mattresses and booze.

    2. The financial stress of student loans causes rapiness. QED.


      1. I thought it was climate change.

        1. That too. Climate change makes men think Gaia is soon going to change into something “more comfortable”, if you know what I mean. And you all know what happens next.

    3. Isn’t it the same principle as Ladies’ Night at the local bar? You give gals a free education in order to lure all the guys in.

      1. “Free education” is a pretty creepy rape euphemism.

        1. So . . . its *not* an abstract metaphor for masturbation?

          1. “Creepy” is not necessarily unabstract.

          2. So every time some college boy masturbates, he is actually raping a co-ed.

      2. You bring up an excellent point. We need the gubermint to step in and put a stop to bars over free drinks to ladies. They are abetting serial rape and sexual assault because we all know for a fact that a woman cannot have a drink and be able to give consent.

    4. People take more risks when things are *free*.

  8. We’re sorry that one of the most memories will include being raped by someone you thought you could trust.

    Pls. tell me this is a direct cut and paste from the ad/letter.

  9. Why was that dude in the video? Was he the rapist?

    1. No, no, he’s studying to be a therapist. Common misconception.

        1. It’s therapy all the way down….

          *narrows gaze at self*

      1. Maybe he can be both an analyst and therapist.

        1. This is why every college freshman should bring an album cover.

        2. An analrapist maybe?

    2. Speaking of rape, the female president of Catholic Brazil had the cojones to talk about women’s rights and abortion while foot-dragging on men-with-guns prohibitionism. The US sent in its Terminator ambassador and the Speaker of the House–under indictment for money “laundering” and stuffing Swiss banks with bribe money–just railroaded in a vote for her impeachment (with 150 Congressmen under felony indictments rushing to impeach). The country has some 32 communist, fascist and prohibitionist parties, all subsidized, voting required at gunpoint, and the Vatican summons up lynch mobs with a grin. This is probably the GOP’s main objection to Hillary. Half the voters might secure those very individual rights the LP platform is too cowardly to stand up for.

  10. Colleges. All they know is Ball. And Good. And Rape.

  11. my niece and a cousin are going to start college in the fall. it would be awkward if one raped the other. they’ve never met, and given that numbers, it’s apparently very possible. i don’t want to be that family and a statistic…not sure why obama doesn’t fix this already.

    1. Welcome to the Crusty-Rufus-Sugar club.

      1. Make that Crusty-Rufus-Sugar-Old Man club.

        I’m sure I’m missing someone.

        Agile doesn’t count. He’s from another dimension.

        1. At least his mom isn’t going back to school, then he would have to worry about Epi

  12. They fail to note the upside. Sure, it sucks for the girls, but it’s great for the guys. If there are so many unreported rapes, then the odds are college rapists will get away with it. So the acceptance letter for males can say – “congratulations, you can select the hottest-looking coeds to rape, and the odds of your being held accountable are less than the odds of getting run over by a truck!”


    1. Please don’t give them ideas, Eddie.

  13. Don’t people learn self defense anymore?


    1. That had better be a video of Bobby Hill kicking people in the nuts.

      1. YOU KNOW IT IS.

    2. Self defense is blaming the victim, just like telling people to lock their doors if you don’t want to be robbed.

      1. Unless you’re robbed and the criminals take your firearms. Then you should be executed for not having your guns in a safe.

        1. So they do not apply their “principles” universally?

    3. You can’t use self defense if you only figure out it was rape months after you have sex….

      1. The only way to be sure is for every woman to give a good kicking to anyone she has relations with. In case.

  14. The ‘1 in 5’ thing is here to stay even if the author offers a mea culpa like the guy who put out the anti-vaccine study.

    1. I thought it was recently dialed up to “1 in 4” after nobody bought the “1 in 5” bullshit.

    2. even if the author offers a mea culpa

      Dude, they already did… like 2 years after they did the study…. Then again, and again, and again.

      As two of the researchers who conducted the Campus Sexual Assault Study from which this number was derived, we feel we need to set the record straight. Although we used the best methodology available to us at the time, there are caveats that make it inappropriate to use the 1-in-5 number in the way it’s being used today, as a baseline or the only statistic when discussing our country’s problem with rape and sexual assault on campus.

      First and foremost, the 1-in-5 statistic is not a nationally representative estimate of the prevalence of sexual assault, and we have never presented it as being representative of anything other than the population of senior undergraduate women at the two universities where data were collected?two large public universities, one in the South and one in the Midwest.

      Second, the 1-in-5 statistic includes victims of both rape and other forms of sexual assault, such as forced kissing or unwanted groping of sexual body parts….

      And of course there’s the entire self-selected-aspect of their sample, and their lack of actual verification of the identities of respondents, etc.

    3. 1 in 5 vaccines causes an autistic kid to get raped. Fact.

  15. Are you a high school senior, recently admitted to the college of your choice? Congratulations, you are about to be raped. Probably

    Someone is peanut butter and jealous.

    1. Robby was raped by his hair.

      You didn’t know?

      1. Well, the head football coach at Robby’s school did say to prepare your anus… fair warning was given.

  16. More GiTS SJW insanity.


    The very same people who will tell you its horrible to cast SJ in the Kusinagi role will, without batting an eye, offer up *CHINESE AND KOREAN* actresses for the role.

    Because that’s not racist. So, are you Chinese or Japanese? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_CaZ4EAexQ

    For some reason, they keep forgetting about this woman.


    1. +1 the Ocean, what Ocean?

    2. “I hate Scarlett Johansson because she appeared in that movie that made fun of Japan. She’s ugly, but she might have a face that white people like.”

      Internet, LOL, Internet!

      1. I guess it’s that white people are taking work from Asian people.

        Off Topic: I have it on good authority that white people are poor at mathematics.

        (It’s okay for me to write that because I have white friends)

        1. Dude, I did that Pythagorusial Theorem the other day. It worked out.

    3. So it’s SJWs being offended on behalf of Japanese people for a caucasian playing some kind of asian cyborg (it’s been a while since I saw Ghost in the Shell, but IIRC it’s about the blurring of the line between human and machine. So of course its super-important that the character who illustrates that blurring be the right kind of race.

      1. blurring of the line between human and machine

        They should all shut up. The chips were made in China.

  17. So if persons and think tanks may be prosecuted for questioning climate change, may persons then be prosecuted for promoting tripe such as this? You know, fair play, tit for tat, and all that.

    1. Promoting it? No.

      Challenging it? You bet.

      Its not the spreading of lies that’s the problem. Its the challenging of the narrative that must be jackbooted.

  18. Senator Kristne Gillibrand to Bernie Sanders: Give up your guns!

    New York’s junior senator, a passionate Clinton backer and feminist, broke down during an emotional sit-down here for POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast when I asked her about her own conversion from an upstate House member with a 100 percent NRA rating (who once stored a shotgun under her bed) to an upper-chamber anti-gun crusader.

    “I was somebody who was not as focused on this, as I should have been, as a House member. Meeting these families devastated me, broke my heart,” said Gillibrand, when I suggested she switched positions as a matter of political expediency in a deep-blue state where most Democrats favor stringent gun restrictions.

    Gillibrand, a 49-year-old mother of two young sons not prone to public expressions of emotion, began to cry in mid-sentence. “It’s so crippling ? I mean, I sat down with a mother last week in Brooklyn, and she lost her 4-year-old baby ? she took her kid to a park,” she said. “Every mom takes their kid to a park. And she took her kid to a park and the kid was killed, a baby, a 4-year-old. ? [Sanders] doesn’t have the sensitivity he needs to the horror that is happening in these families. I just don’t think he’s fully getting how horrible it is for these families.”

    The religious overtones of all this is pretty absurd.

    1. Gillibrand is the definition of ‘nasty cunt’.

    2. Translation: Guns for upstate white folks, tiny flags for you-know-who in Brooklyn.

      1. Don’t forget guns for asset-forfeiture cops and tax collectors. They get guns all subsidized, no expense spared, and ammo enough to kill everyone in the county if they resist.
        Some guns are more equal than others…

    3. Full court emotional appeal. Nice, real classy.

    4. The sobbing confession of wrong-think makes me ready to cheer her imminent death.

    5. If that makes her cry, she is clearly too weak to lead. Unless she’s making it all up, in which case she is merely a politician.

    1. Have you looked in a mirror?

    2. Probably because you’ve never been to prison. Speaking of which, the intellectual colossi at everydayfeminism made a list of 160+ male priveleges.

      44. You’re less likely to be raped, especially if you never go to prison.

      Well, that’s a nice way to obscure the fact that almost all male rapes occur in prison and that the number of male prison rapes is greater than the number of female rapes.

      1. Is #45 ‘you’re more likely to be murdered, which is a mercy because it’ll probably be a quick death’ and #46’you’ll die younger, which is nice because life just sux.’?

  19. Spot the Not: false but widely believed statistics

    1. People only use 10% of their brains.

    2. 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is man-made.

    3. 50% of marriages end in divorce.

    4. 8% or internet users do not use email or search engines.

    5. A gun in a home is 13 times more likely to kill or injure by homicide, suicide, or accident than in defense.

    6. Only 1 in 10 Americans has a passport.

    1. 4. I’ve heard all the others repeated as fact.

    2. I’m gonna say 4. Reminds me of Shriek and is not at all scare mongering in any way.

    3. correction- #5 should say 22 times more likely.

    4. Damn- should have tried harder to find a quality Not.

    5. I’ll go with 4 as well. I’ve never heard that.

  20. RE: Misleading Viral Ad Campaign Tells College Students: Prepare to Be Raped

    Yes, college students will get raped.
    Especially when their tuition increases for no apparent reason.

  21. Let’s suppose that 1 out of 5 people who swam in the ocean were attacked by sharks. How many people would go swimming in the ocean?

    Feminist bullshit stats are like the Terminator- just when you think the thing is finally dead, that red eye starts glowing again as a mechanical arm reaches for your throat.

    1. More like Freddie Krueger – they keep bringing him back in response to demands from the fans.

      1. So you might think you’ve blown away the statistic with the bazooka of logic and fed it into the woodchipper of reasoned discourse, but when the fans (feminists) want more, they bring it back to life to be killed again.

    2. Good points. Terminators have been destroyed. Bogus stats are more like Jason Vorhees.

      1. Are you replying to yourself?

        1. He identifies as a self-replier.

    3. I think the whole point is that if you can get the ‘statistic’ repeated often enough, it will become conventional wisdom, and anyone who disputes it will be either a crackpot or a cold-hearted nitpicker who doesn’t get the ‘gist’ of the ‘fact.’ If people hear 1 in 5 enough, they’ll stop bothering to ask where it came from, and if it gets cited in print enough, then people will just accept that at least one of those articles must reference a properly conducted study. I mean, thousands of people can’t actually cite a number back and forth without at least one of them verifying it, right? Right?

  22. This is the inevitable outcome of useful idiocy. Bizarro-land fantasies where everyone and our institutions are dysfunctional.

    I am not sure what their goal is or if they know themselves. Is this some sort of bizarre self-destruction?

    Who, in their right mind, would send their daughters off to a rape factory? If what they say is happening were actually happening the country would be up in arms and the colleges would be empty.

    1. it certainly wouldnt be newsworthy

      1. if the one in five number were true I mean; getting raped at college would be too commonplace to be interesting.

  23. “one of the most memories” is an excellent turn of phrase

  24. so a Masters is around 1 in 3 and a PhD is a coin toss. and yet women keep applying.

  25. College campuses must be the most dangerous places on earth. Why not just shut them down for safety? I mean keeping them open guaranteeing that 20-25% of their female students will be raped. How can we justify this? Shut down these rape factories.

  26. Aw, man, – I went to the wrong school.

  27. “When he presses you against the wall.”

    I don’t really believe the whole “rape fantasy projection” angle but these people are trying their damndest to change my mind.

    1. Bernie Sanders wrote a wonderful piece explaining that women like it!

  28. Far better to be admitted to prison for some victimless “crime” invented by superstitious politicians. At least in prison, rape is what the prohibitionist faith requires for atonement–especially for young boys.

  29. Young women who are independent, strong, and self confident do not need an army of professional advocates working on their behalf. My daughter is all those things, and I worry what will happen to her when she leaves for school.

    1. Teach her to shoot a gun, take pride in accomplishment and hard work, and to sneer at people who wallow in victim mentalities and she’ll probably be just fine.

  30. Social Justice Warriors are like a psychologically abusive parent who tells their kid that nobody will ever love them and the world will always make them its victim, all so that the child will grow up an emotional cripple and stay dependent on the parent forever.

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  33. What’s terrible is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to reduce your risk of being a victim. Not one thing.

    1. Well, except donating $100 to their anti-rape foundation and voting for Hillary. Those’ll help.

  34. uptil I looked at the bank draft saying $8885 , I didn’t believe that my mother in law woz like they say truly taking home money in there spare time at their laptop. . there great aunt haz done this less than 17 months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there home and bourt a great Renault 4 . see

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  35. “I presume that the purpose of this campaign is to create awareness about the sexual assault problem on campus. But what Prettybirds has actually done is use inaccurate data to frighten people.”

    You mean like shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded movie theater (when there is no fire). Aren’t these SJW-types always talking about how you are not allowed to do that?

  36. uptil I saw the bank draft four $8760 , I be certain …that…my sister woz actually bringing in money part time from there labtop. . there neighbour had bean doing this 4 only about eighteen months and resently cleard the depts on there home and bourt a top of the range Chrysler ….

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