Joel Plaskett, Mickey MacDonald and Andre Levingston have joined police in speaking out against violence against women as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The musician, entrepreneur and basketball team owner all appear in the ‘Be more than a bystander’ video campaign led by Halifax Regional Police Victim Services and Volunteer Association.
The video campaign sees each of these local celebrities speaking to other men about the importance of being more than just a bystander when it comes to violence against women. Though this campaign is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, a similar campaign was launched in British Columbia with great success.
“The campaign aims to empower each of us to be more than a bystander and intervene on abusive attitudes and behaviours directed towards women early on, before they’ve had the chance to escalate to violence,” says Superintendent Don Spicer, Public Safety Officer for HRM. “As police, we’re expected to provide public safety and crime prevention tips and information to our citizens, including ways for women to avoid being victims of a sexual assault and other violent crimes. While we understand it’s our duty to provide this information, we must also target our messaging to the people who are committing these crimes. Research shows that the majority of offenders in theses cases are men.”
There will also be a video contest as part of this campaign, encouraging citizens to explain how they can be more than a bystander or what being more than a bystander means to them. The winner will receive an iPad3.
Halifax Regional Police Victim Services and Volunteer Association also partnered with Avalon Centre, Bryony House, Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and Transition House Association of Nova Scotia to launch a poster campaign. The ‘Don’t be that guy’ poster campaign will see three different posters with images and messages displayed in bars, restaurants, universities and colleges throughout HRM.
“The posters speak specifically to men, requesting that they “Don’t be that guy” and think before they act,” explains Supt. Spicer. “We realize the posters are provocative. We’ve partnered with a number of women’s groups to launch this campaign and we all agree that if it catches attention and gets people talking about this important issue, the campaign is a success.”
More information can be found at http://halifax.ca/MenEndingViolenceAgainstWomen/