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24th Jan 2013

“Don’t Be THAT Guy”: Hard-Hitting Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign Hits Universities Across The Country

The shocking images are set to target potential offenders.

This sexual assault awareness campaign has been launched across the country in Irish universities to target potential offenders and to encourage men to change their attitudes.

The “Don’t Be That Guy” initiative promotes the message that sex without consent is the same as sexual assault.

The awareness campaign features hard-hitting images of vulnerable women under the influence of alcohol with the taglines, “Just because she isn’t saying no doesn’t mean she is saying yes” and “Just because you help her home doesn’t mean you can help yourself” among others.

The campaign is already running in TCD and NUI Galway.

The campaign was launched in UCC this week. Mary Crilly, director of Cork’s Sexual Violence Centre, spoke to the Irish Examiner.

“Young women are so vulnerable. Almost 80 per cent are raped by someone they know. This campaign calls on men to examine their own behaviour.

“I have talked to guys who said she ‘was asking for it’. However, I ask them to think that if there is a girl passed out drunk and it was their sister, would they want a guy taking advantage of her? These posters ask the same.”

Most sexual assault awareness campaigns target the potential victims by urging women to change their behaviour with suggestions such as not dressing in a certain way, not getting drunk, and walking home alone but this campaign takes a different approach, targeting the potential offenders.

UCC students union’s gender equality officer, Sian Cowman, said research suggests that campaigns aimed at victims are ineffective and can also contribute to and increase self-blame in survivors.

The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign began in Edmonton, Canada in 2010. It spread internationally, and helped cut the reported sexual assaults in Vancouver by 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Union of Students in Ireland is to survey students nationwide on their experience of sexual violence.