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Have a word with yourself, then with your mates. Male violence against women and girls starts with words. If you see it happening, say something.
Building on an acclaimed initiative by the Mayor of London, Nottinghamshire Police is urging men to help stop violence and abuse before it starts by challenging harmful behaviours.
The force has teamed up with local sports teams and cinemas to share a hard-hitting video appeal with fans and audiences.
Staff will also be visiting town centres with a fleet of digital vans to share the message with the public.
Violence against women and girls covers a wide range of violent crimes and behaviours that disproportionately affect women and girls.
Examples can include domestic violence, harassment, stalking, sexual assault and controlling and coercive behaviour.
Research not only suggests that these acts are driven by learned attitudes and behaviours, but also that such attitudes and behaviours are most effectively challenged by male peers.
The campaign also encourages men to think about their own past behaviour and – if necessary – have a word with themselves.
Detective Chief Inspector Claire Gould, force lead for violence against women and girls, said: “Violence against women and girls is often begins with sexist, misogynistic attitudes and behaviours that have been learned over a long period of time.
“These behaviours – from wolf-whistling and name calling to on-street harassment and unwanted touching – can lead to more serious acts of violence and aggression in the future if they are not challenged.
“This is what this campaign is all about – encouraging healthy challenges to these attitudes and behaviours at the earliest possible opportunity.
“So, if your mates are behaving in an inappropriate way on a night out – have a word with them.
“If your family member talks about or makes jokes about committing acts of violence against women – have a word with them.
“We know people are more likely to listen to their peers than to external voices so there really is huge potential here to effectively challenge harmful behaviours.
“We are very grateful to the Mayor of London’s office for allowing us to reuse this excellent campaign material, and also to our local professional sports teams for allowing us to share it with their supporters.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I would urge anyone who witnesses violence against women and girls to stop and think: how would they like it if it was their mother, sister or daughter?
“We can’t just stand by and let it happen – we have to say something. It’s so important that we stand together to help ensure violence against women and girls can never be shrugged off or accepted. It is not ok. Only by taking a stand as a whole society can we stop the cycle of violence.”