Here and Now campaign asks every man and boy in the region to have a conversation about violence against women and girls.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has today launched a new campaign to encourage all men and boys in the West Midlands to have important conversations with their peers about male violence against women and girls.
The campaign, Here and Now, will ask men to step up and prioritise conversations about playing their part in putting a stop to unacceptable male behaviours and deep-rooted misogyny.
A recent survey into women’s safety, commissioned by the PCC in 2021, found 80 per cent of women in the region said they had been subject to harassment.
Before Christmas, the PCC launched a campaign - No Excuse for Abuse - asking men to be upstanders for women’s safety, not a bystander to intimidation and violence.
Now, the focus is on community-wide change and having more open conversations about the part that men need to play in challenging one another, and in talking with their peers about behaviours and actions.
The West Midlands Victims’ Commissioner, Nicky Brennan, said:
“It’s way past time that we talked more openly about male violence against women and girls. It’s really important that it’s not something that is treated as taboo or hidden away - it should be talked about in pubs, at the park, on the way to the football – wherever you would normally have a chat.
“For far too long violence against women and girls has been accepted and normalised. The simple act of having conversations with your friends, colleagues and family members can help others to understand how certain behaviours and actions can make women feel uncomfortable and scared. So, we’re encouraging men to take the time to talk – here, and now.”
The campaign will launch with three videos that will be shared across the region and used in training sessions. These videos reflect conversations between men of different ages based on feedback from people across the West Midlands about positive interactions they had experienced with male peers.
The campaign will continue throughout Spring and Summer, reaching new audiences and drawing on original data to support the drive to help men have the much-needed conversations.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said:
“We know that men, in particular, haven’t traditionally spoken about these things. I can’t remember having these conversations when I was growing up. In recent years, there are more men wanting to learn about and discuss this important topic, but there’s still a long way to go, as evidenced by the severe and troubling prevalence of male violence against women and girls.
“What we’re asking men to do is quite simple – have a chat. What might seem like a small thing to you may be a transformative moment for someone else. We want to work with men across the region to find out what works, what doesn’t, and how we might help remove any obstacles to having these conversations – all with the ultimate aim of preventing and tackling violence against women and girls.”
The messages form part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s wider Safer Streets campaign, which includes police operations to spot and deal with potential male perpetrators, tailored education for young men on respecting women and girls, and work with partners to make practical improvements based on direct feedback from women.
Alongside the work on changing behaviours and having a proactive policing response to violence against women and girls, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner offers a wide range of support services to victims
To find out more, visit https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/no-excuse-for-abuse/