Over 40,000 sign petition calling on Target to withdraw GTA V for extreme violence against women

Grand Theft Auto 5 fuelling the epidemic of violence against women, say survivors in petition signed by over 40,000 people.

[UPDATE] Target and Kmart have pulled the game from sale, will Big W do the same? 

As Nicole stated: 

We're now asking outlets like Big W and Woolworths whether they're going to stand up against Grand Theft Auto's violence against women as well.

Join us here: https://www.facebook.com/BIGWaustralia 

Thank you again. All 40,000+ of you!

[Win] Target announces GTA 5 withdrawn from sale 


Read the complete media release here. 

*Warning- graphic content.*

Women survivors of violence are calling on Target to withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale, a “sickening” video game that encourages players to brutally murder women for entertainment.

In a change.org petition that has attracted 30, 000 signatures so far, Nicole describes the various ways players can enact their fantasies of committing extreme violence against women, including punching women to the point of unconsciousness, killing them with a bat, gun or machete, running them down with a car and setting them on fire as they continue screaming.

Sign petition here


You can watch one of many fan clips where a gamer comments as he enacts using a prostitute and then reversing over her with his car.

"A man has his needs! [In] classic GTA style, you can't let her get away with your money- we're gonna go ahead and back this bad boy up. Do what you gotta do to a regular prostitute!"


Survivors Nicole, Claire and Kat share disturbing statistics about violence to women in the sex industry, who are up to forty times more likely to be murdered by a man than any other group of women.

"Please Target- we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale," writes Nicole.

“We have firsthand experience of this kind of sexual violence. It haunts us, and we've been trying to rebuild our lives ever since. Just knowing that women are being portrayed as deserving to be sexually used by men and potentially murdered for sport and pleasure – to see this violence that we lived through turned into a form of entertainments is sickening and causes us great pain and harm.”

The petition encourages Target as a so-called ‘family friendly’ retailer to follow the example of New Zealand’s largest retailer, NZ Warehouse group, who chose to put ethics before profits and refused to stock the misogynistic game.

Domestic violence organisations and survivor organisations have supported the call to Target to withdraw GTA V. Brigitte McLennan, manager of SCOPE Domestic and Family Violence Service said as levels of domestic violence were rising the whole community needed to embrace the message that male violence against women was not okay.

Our campaign against GTA V has attracted a lot of attention and comments, particularly from male gamers. There were men who defended their ‘rights’ to live out fantasies of enacting extreme violence against women in the game. They argued playing these games had no bearing on their attitudes towards women. These same men flooded the thread with abuse to women, sexist slurs, hateful language and jokes about violence against women. Apparently the irony is lost on them.

We stand with survivors in calling Target to exercise corporate social responsibility and show they value the lives and dignity of women more than profits.

Further reading:

GTA V- Target Australia should ban Grand Theft Auto 5 via news.com.au

Parents petition Target to stop selling Grand Theft Auto 5 via Sunshine Coast Daily 

The Warehouse Group praised for removing Grand Theft Auto 5 via Scoop


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  • Aron Fin
    commented 2014-12-05 04:13:49 +1100
    I’m sorry to hear that some of you have experienced horrific things in your lives, however I feel you are going about this entirely the wrong way. As a lifelong gamer who has played the GTA series I can tell you that this game does not encourage the murder of prostitutes. While it is possible there are no objectives to do so. The world is what we call a “sandbox” in which it is possible to do a great many things, and mostly anyone can be killed. I’m not here to debate whether this is a violent game or not because that is not the issue – your issue is perceived misogyny – but this game is far from misogynistic. The vast majority of scripted violence is aimed at males—gangs, police, hit-men etc—and while civilians are fair game they are not the focus of the majority of gamers as it is, quite frankly, not that fun running around picking off defenseless people.

    The fun comes with the challenge—surviving—and to survive you need to commit crimes. I explain this to you so that perhaps some of you will understand that the majority of us do not get our kicks blowing up civilians, no. That is merely the catalyst that instigates the chase and propels the story forward, it is a tool that keeps us immersed in the world. The fun is in the challenge of beating the game as it always has been. Yes, I realize this is not true for all people, some people may well play for this exact reason but I am being honest when I say that I expect they are in the utmost minority there. But just as those people exist so do people who watch horror movies for the mutilation of women rather than the adrenaline rush, or the nudity rather than the story, etc etc.

    I support feminism, and by that I mean TRUE FEMINISM—equality of all people, all races, and from all walks of life—but there are misguided feminists out there who are so riled up that they’re missing the point. I urge all of you to truly look inwards and give some thought to whether you’re after equality or female superiority, because there are certainly two very distinct groups out there, the latter of whom are belittling a worthy cause with witch-hunts “because they can”.

    I can tell you now, I have seen a LOT of feminism this and that floating about of late but I have yet to see feminists fight for men’s rights. I’ve seen feminists defending men against pro-women activists, and that’s a sad thing, because there are men out there who are suffering as well. I’ve personally experienced violence from a woman and I can tell you now that people—women included—will act quick-sharp if they see a women being verbally or physically abused in public but they will laugh if they see a women abusing a man!

    See video:

    Additionally, the way feminists attacked this poor man (who had accomplished something incredible!) was horrific:


    While actresses like Elizabeth Banks can get away with comments like this…


    If the situation were reversed and Jimmy had told Liz that “men don’t like saggy pussy’s” the backlash would be immediate and relentless, there is a HUGE double-standard here.

    In closing, GTA V is not misogynistic; you are taking something out of context to create a media frenzy and cause. By this logic you should remove the majority of adult movies, games, books and shows, as well as art, as context can be applied to this in similar fashion. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of your signatures were from parents who have not played this game or simply dislike the concept of violence in games full-stop, and to those people I say “We are not here to debate the violence full-stop, we are here to debate the misogynistic content. If you have not played the game properly you really cannot submit an informed opinion”. The game is rated R anyway, so your children should not have access to it any more than they do the violent shows on TV, the X-rated movies at Blockbuster or alcohol from the bottle-shop – that is your responsibility, if they aren’t old enough you simply need not buy them the game.

    If your issue is, on the other hand, ALL VIOLENCE in games then you are thinking too small here and should address the R Rating itself, but wouldn’t it simply be better to educate your children rather than shelter them. I’ve played these games all my life, and I have a well-paid job, a family and a healthy lifestyle. I’m here conversing with you on something I feel strongly about it what I believe is a polite and structured manner, and not out abusing women or stealing cars. I do not believe that oppression and censorship are conducive to changing attitudes towards women, particularly when the focus is taken out of context or is petty. In such cases you are damaging your own credibility and belittling your cause. You victory here was a petition that went directly to Target / K-mart and only found mainstream recognition when they announced the removal, so gamers did not have a chance to defend themselves or argue against it. So while this has been a victory it may well have damaged you, and that’s a sad thing. I would really like to see feminists choose worthy battles going forward, because there is a need for feminism as evidenced by your petition against Julien Blanc, but I would also like to see more effort from feminists on a whole in helping male victims of injustice.

    It seems ridiculous that both yourselves and the men’s rights movement are at each others throats all the time, constantly one-upping one-another and striking below the belt; honestly its like watching the politicians on TV! You’re both fighting for equal rights but you can’t agree, so I just hang back and make my own way. Neither one of you are right 100% of the time.

    Anyway, my apologies for the massive essay, even it it wasn’t read it killed an hour writing it and felt kind of therapeutic!
  • Melinda Liszewski
  • Garoc Tempest
    commented 2014-12-04 07:05:29 +1100
    again, just like camageddon back in the day. you ignore the fact that its a game. hundreds of studies of which have proven games dont make you violent. furthermore you are not encouraged to kill the hookers and more to the point it doesn’t encourage people to go on to do it in real life.
    by that logic, playing surgeon simulator has me straight outside finding the closest poor sod and cutting them open because i think im a heart surgeon. cant say its happened yet.
    not to mention, the theft in vehicles did not go up when this game was released (for any of them). so again more proof action in game does not equate to action in real life.

    i do feel sorry for the women that have been subject to this. but remember its a game. but you are as usual looking in the wrong place to understand what seemingly justifies those heinous acts. there is media out there that could make anyone uncomfortable depending on their experiences but that doesn’t mean we should ban them.

    you know what the game has in it, you dont have to do it if you do play gta. its not expressly written and forced down your throat to run over a hooker after you’ve visited to her. in fact, its possible to play the game without even thinking about it. i haven’t done it ONCE in over 60hrs of playing.

    try harder than what seems like the easy and obvious route especially when you are hitting a dead end with this.
  • Daniel Factor
    commented 2014-12-03 17:41:43 +1100
    1.The video of the guy playing GTAV is not evidence of actual violence against real women. By this logic someone playing a war simulation game and making comments about shooting people would be evidence that he might go out and shoot real people.

    2.We are still lacking evidence games cause real violence. DV charity links rising levels of violence against women with video games but there is nothing to back this up.

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