The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester are releasing a series of videos as part of their campaign to tackle sexual harassment and gender-based violence of women and girls by challenging the behaviours of men and boys.
The videos follow on from the multi-award-winning #IsThisOK? video, launched in December 2021 and viewed well over five million times, which highlighted the everyday harassment women and girls experience.
The new videos make clear the need for behavioural change in Greater Manchester, displaying statistics on sexual harassment in the city-region alongside experiences of gender-based violence. Also included are comments from social media in response to #IsThisOk?, showing that there is a desire from men and boys in Greater Manchester to be part of the change.
Speaking about the launch, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:
“Our #IsThisOK? video showed women and girls across our city-region that we see what you have to put up with every day. After over five million views, the response from Greater Manchester is that it’s not OK.
“We are pushing forward to make the changes needed to improve things. We must continue the conversation with men and boys about why this type of behaviour is not OK.
“Our public campaign is a vital part of sustaining this conversation and changing the story for Greater Manchester. We call on everyone to follow our campaign and get involved in being part of the change.”
The new videos are part of the delivery of Greater Manchester’s 10-year Gender-Based Violence Strategy, which includes a public campaign focussing on changing the behaviour of men and boys and improving the safety of women and girls.
The upcoming campaign will build on the work already delivered since last year’s video to tackle gender-based violence within Greater Manchester, such as the £2.4 million Safer Streets funding to tackle anti-social behaviour and the Good Night Out Guide which promotes night out safety in the city centre.
Bev Hughes, Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire and Co-Chair of Greater Manchester’s Gender-Based Violence Board said:
“Gender-based violence is a significant, global problem. Despite much good work that takes place to tackle it, gender-based violence remains endemic. We are committed to addressing the causes of gender-based violence before they become entrenched and have the opportunity to inflict enduring harm.
“Through implementation of our radical 10-year strategy, I believe Greater Manchester can lead the way globally, demonstrating how a city-region coming together as one can deliver real social change.
“These videos show that there are real problems affecting women and girls in our city-region that need challenging, but that there is desire from men and boys to engage in the debate and change their behaviour too. We will keep this debate going and never relent.”
Jane Gregory, CEO of Salford Survivor Project and Co-Chair of Greater Manchester’s Gender-Based Violence Board added:
“It’s really important that we continue to speak about gender-based violence. Women and girls need to know that it’s not their fault and that this behaviour is not OK.
“If your friends, partners or colleagues are doing something that makes you or others feel uncomfortable, that’s a sign of abuse. Everyone needs to be part of the change.”
Supt Jim Faulkner, GMP Lead for The National Police VAWG delivery plan said:
“As GMP’s tactical lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, I am acutely aware that I have never experienced the need to grasp my keys between my knuckles as I walk home, change my route, or keep talking on my mobile phone.
“For too long the responsibility has been placed on women and girls to modify their behaviour as opposed to holding perpetrators to account. As a male I know how important it is that all men in society, like myself and my colleagues, stand up and denounce this behaviour.
“As a Police service, we are determined to make women and girls feel safer when they are out in public across Greater Manchester, and we will continue to pursue and hold perpetrators to account through the criminal justice system.”
The public campaign aimed at men and boys will be a sustained one. You can watch the new video below or following @IsThisOKGM on social media.
Article Published: 20/10/2022 12:00 PM