TARGET is under intense fire from groups across Australia including Nordic Model Australia Coalition over the sale of Grand Theft Auto V which includes options for players to have sex with prostitutes, then kill and rob them.
The release of this game along with the widespread advertising on public transport, has coincided with White Ribbon Day and statements made in an interview on ABC 7.30 Report with Australian Chief of Army David Morrison who said that men:
“… may not perpetrate any violence against women, they may not distribute foul images, but if they know about them, if they know about violence, if they don’t do something about it, if they’re bystanders, then through their actions they need to be held to account.”
Director for NorMAC Matthew Holloway said: “In GTA V you play as a man inflicting violence on the community, in particular women. David Morrison’s statements this week mirror the concerns of many people who have complained to Target directly about GTA V.”
A reviewer of the game has stated: “Your time in Los Santos may leave you with a few psychological scars, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from visiting.”
Other users of the game have taken to twitter to defend violent attitudes towards women. @REALFunnyMario stated ‘Punching women in gta cause they deserve it.’ while @Lekinineie said ‘I play the game to because you can hurt women’.
Simone, a survivor of prostitution said: “As a woman and survivor of male violence it is distressing to know that there are men out there in the world enjoying playing out fantasies of buying, bashing, torturing and murdering women. This is unacceptable, indeed intolerable. If you sell it, you are complicit in endorsing it.”
Target’s response to complaints has been “GTA V is an interactive game where people choose their own journey. We do not endorse any particular modes of playing.’”
Mr Holloway responded to Target asking “Would it be acceptable to have a game where you rape children, then claim we don’t endorse you playing this game in that manner?”
NorMAC supports the campaign launched by survivors of prostitution for GTA V to be pulled from the shelves of Target stores, their petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/target-withdraw-grand-theft-auto-v
NorMAC calls on all groups across Australia including groups working with people involved in the sex industry such as Scarlet Alliance to condemn GTA V as stigmatising and normalising violence against women and boycott TARGET until such time as GTA V is withdrawn from their shelves.