A new campaign which aims to tackle sexual violence through “frank conversations” has won praise from campaigners and Nicola Sturgeon.
Police Scotland launched Don’t Be That Guy yesterday, with a 60 second film featuring young men repeat often used phrases about women, escalating into more coercive behaviour.
Asking men if they recognise themselves in the film, the campaign says that sexual violence can begin “long before we think it does”.
The video has been viewed over 400,000 times in less than 24 hours after it won praise from campaigners as well as the first minister.
Nicola Sturgeon praises ‘powerful’ Don’t Be That Guy film
Urging all men to watch the “powerful video” Ms Sturgeon said the new Police Scotland campaign was “important”.
“Sexual violence starts long before you think it does”.
This new campaign from @PoliceScotland is powerful and important. I’d ask all men to watch this film – and then encourage your sons, fathers, brothers and friends to do likewise. @ThatGuyScotland https://t.co/I5H7I8vOqx
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 13, 2021
Rape Crisis Scotland welcomed the campaign and said it was important for the campaign to put the focus on men rather than safety advice for women.
“Great to see a campaign from Police Scotland about sexual violence that puts the focus on the only people responsible: the perpetrators.
“Safety advice aimed at women won’t stop sexual violence, but changing men’s attitudes and behaviours can, so #DontBeThatGuy,” they said online.
It shouldn't feel unusual or refreshing to see a public information film about sexual violence that's aimed at men and asks them to challenge their own behaviour (rather than, say, advising women how to stay safe), but it does. Worth watching. #DontBeThatGuy https://t.co/95H94Pro85
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonPC) October 13, 2021
The campaign’s website also features a blog from Rebekah Cheung, a survivor of sexual assault.
In the post, she writes about her experience as well as highlighting how men should take the lead in challenging harassment and sexual violence.
It comes amid a national conversation about male violence against women following the murder of Sarah Everard.
I hope we are finally at a turning point where we stop expecting women to fix these problems, and we put the full glare where it belongs
New schemes have been proposed to protect women, but politicians and campaigners have also highlighted the responsibility men should take.
Earlier this week, the first minister said there had been “too many painful reminders” of the abuse women can face.
“I hope we are finally at a turning point where we stop expecting women to fix these problems, and we put the full glare where it belongs, on men who behave in a deeply unacceptable and misogynistic way,” Ms Sturgeon said in Holyrood.
She added: “I would say to all men in this chamber and all men across the country: challenge it if it’s on the part of other men that you know, challenge your own behaviour, and then let’s collectively turn the corner so that women can live free of the fear of harassment, abuse, intimidation, violence, and in the worst cases, death.”