May 25, 2010
(HARRISBURG) The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is urging Pennsylvanians to contact WBEB 101.1FM in Philadelphia and express their displeasure with the station’s decision to deny PCAR radio advertising space for its HERO Project campaign.
The station denied PCAR space because the 30-second public service announcement, urging adults to report child sexual abuse, contained the words ‘rape’ and ‘sexual.’
WBEB’s General Manager Blaise Howard offered PCAR space only if it altered the wording to remove the word “rape” from the organization’s name and say “child abuse” instead of “child sexual abuse”, citing that the station’s listeners would be upset by the words that are currently used.
Howard stated to PCAR’s executive director that WBEB doesn’t take “explicit ads” because they are a “straight laced” company. However, the station does play sexually suggestive music by artists such as Prince, Madonna, Lady GaGa and George Michael.
“Child sexual abuse is not about sexuality.” PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg said “It’s about violence to our children. If the station doesn’t believe its listeners could handle hearing words about abuse, imagine what child victims of sexual abuse are experiencing,”.
“We believe that our message is important to Pennsylvanians. All we are trying to do is get information out to the public that there is help and healing for survivors and their families. We don’t feel that modifying the language is an acceptable compromise. The station is asking us to censor information that could actually help their listeners. Their decision is appalling and perpetuates the veil of silence that continues to hurt victims in need of help.”
PCAR is urging residents to call the station at 610-667-8400 and voice their displeasure with the soft rock radio station and to ask the station to make a substantial donation to their local rape crisis centers.
To listen to the HERO Project public service announcements visit www.heroproject.org .
If you are a member of the media and would like to run the HERO PSAs or print advertisements, please contact PCAR at 800-692-7445 x154.