Targeted at men aged 18-30, the wide-ranging campaign is being promoted in and outside of bars, pubs and clubs across Leicester City Centre and Loughborough as well as Leicester train station and parks across the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland area. It will also run across social media platforms including Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.
The campaign is aimed at challenging unacceptable misogynistic behaviour against women and will encourage men to become active bystanders by calling out negative attitudes and intolerable behaviour among their peers when they witness this type of conduct.
“Violence or harassment against women is never acceptable. It should not fall to women to change their routines or lifestyles to avoid being abused or harmed,” said Police & Crime Commissioner.
“Our research shows men already feel embarrassed and ashamed by other men’s inappropriate behaviour towards women – and often feel ‘guilty’ by association. We want them to feel confident to take action and not be afraid to call out behaviour that is wrong.
“This campaign urges men to take greater responsibility to prevent the toxic attitude that allows abuse to flourish. There is no absolutely no excuse for bad behaviour or violence so let’s not excuse it.”
Grace Strong, Strategic Director of Leicestershire and Rutland’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN), said: “I am pleased to have supported the development of this campaign, not least because it focuses on the role men can play in making a stand against these unacceptable behaviours and empowers them to be part of the solution.
By being active bystanders, men can assist by modelling the right behaviours thereby challenging some of the social norms which have led to many women feeling unsafe in public places. I very much hope it prompts all men to recognise the critical role they play in preventing violence against women and girls.”
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “This awareness campaign asks men to reflect on what is happening around them and to act when others clearly behave inappropriately. It is about taking social responsibility for the safety of others and encouraging men to think about the impact upon women and girls and how safe they feel. We welcome this campaign and how this can assist with reducing violence.”
Deputy city mayor at Leicester City Council, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this important campaign. Recently, we made a successful bid for nearly £250,000 of Government funding to support this work, which will be used to increase CCTV monitoring in the city centre and train staff who work for pubs, restaurants and clubs in the ‘active bystander’ approach.
“By working together in partnership, we can ensure the message gets through to everyone that unacceptable behaviour towards women will never be tolerated.”
The campaign, being delivered by behaviour change experts Hitch Marketing Ltd, features a series of strong slogans reassuring men that behaviour they may witness is wrong and giving them the tools of how and when to act.
These include: “Just seen a mate cat call a woman? You’re right, that’s wrong” and “Just seen a mate not leave her alone when she said no? You’re right, that’s wrong.”
The campaign encourages active bystanders to take one of three actions:
Be Direct – if it’s safe to do so, speak up, tell the perpetrator their behaviour isn’t ok.
Get Help – from other friends, the police, security guards, bar staff etc. This can be before or after the incident.
Distract – do something to change the situation to get the perpetrator and victim away from each other. When it’s safe to do so, follow up with a conversation.
Leicestershire Police developed the campaign with Hitch Marketing on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the other partners.
Funding was secured through the Home Office’s Safer Streets 3 Fund, after Mr Matthews successfully secured £550K as part of the Government’s strategy to reduce violence against women and girls; supported by Leicester City Council, Violence Reduction Network and Leicestershire Police.
For full details and further information visit: thatswrong.co.uk