United Kingdom

Nicola Sturgeon praises ‘powerful’ campaign calling on men to tackle sexual violence

NICOLA Sturgeon has encouraged all men to watch a new campaign video aimed at tackling sexual violence in Scotland.

Titled Don’t Be That Guy, the new initiative run by Police Scotland aims to reduce sexual crimes by encouraging men to have “frank conversations” about male sexual entitlement.

It encourages men to take a “hard look” at attitudes at home, work and while out socialising with the short video pointing out ways that men unconsciously demonstrate sexual entitlement.

Men in the video ask questions like: “You ever bought a lassie dinner and felt that meant she owed you something?”

And: “Ever guilt-tripped her or pressured her or pushed her into it then left feeling like a lad?”

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It then goes on to describe how what may seemingly be innocuous actions from men can lead to much more serious implications.

The men in the video say: “Most men don’t look in the mirror and see a problem. But it’s staring us right in the face.

“Sexual violence starts long before you think it does. Don’t be that guy.”

Men aged between 18 and 35 are being targeted by the campaign as they are the demographic most likely to commit sexual offences.

The campaign video has been widely praised due to its frank and refreshing take on sexual violence.

Nicola Sturgeon shared the video saying: “This new campaign from Police Scotland 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.”

National columnist Kirsty Strickland said: “It’s refreshing (and a huge relief) to see a campaign like this so unflinching in its framing of men’s violence against women.

“Well done to Police Scotland and everybody involved in putting it together.”

READ MORE: Hundreds of sexual misconduct allegations made against police

Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health Maree Todd said she was pleased to see her husband showing the film to their son over dinner, adding: “Hope this is happening the country over – change can happen.”

A total of 3720 sexual crimes were recorded between April and June this year, an increase of 24% from the same period of 2020.

The number of rapes rose 34%, while detection of sexual crimes increased 30%.

In Scotland, there is currently an independent working group looking specifically at misogyny and headed by Baroness Kennedy. The group is looking to ascertain whether a standalone offence of misogyny is required under Scotland’s hate crime act.

You can learn more about the Don’t Be That Guy campaign from their website that includes a detailed description of what male sexual entitlement actually is and how to address it as men, examples of “that guy” and other articles that can help men to understand what they can do to prevent sexual violence.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “It’s time that we men reflected on our own behaviours and attitudes – and those of our friends, family and colleagues – towards women in order to prevent rape, sexual assault and harassment.

“We want all women to be free to live their lives without worrying about their safety.

“Women are not responsible for the sexual offences committed against them and should be able to go about their daily lives without worrying about being sexually harassed, assaulted or raped.

“It’s up to men to step up, to not be ‘that guy’ and to stop sexual offending before it starts.”



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