News story – New phase of campaign encourages students to say Enough to abuse – HM

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The third phase of the government’s award-winning Enough campaign includes a new partnership with over 30 universities to help make campuses safer.

The government’s innovative Enough campaign will join forces with over 30 UK universities in a bid to protect women and girls on university campuses.

Launching its third phase today (25 November), the Enough campaign targets potential perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

For the first time, it will partner up with universities to deliver bespoke campaign materials designed to reflect the scenarios and forms of abuse that students could witness.

This fresh phase of the campaign follows statistics from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, in the year ending March 2022, which revealed full-time students were more than 4 times as likely to have experienced sexual assault within the last year than those in any other type of occupation.

The campaign provides advice to anyone witnessing abuse, including students, on the safe ways to intervene if they see an incident of violence against women and girls, ranging from sexual harassment – on the street, on public transport or at work – to sharing intimate images of someone without their consent; coercive control in a relationship; or unwanted touching.

This phase will see a wider rollout of the campaign’s STOP prompt – Say something, Tell someone, Offer support, Provide a diversion – which provides the public with multiple options for intervening if they witness abuse in public places and around universities.

Graphics on posters, digital screens and university social media accounts will encourage students to act if they witness abuse, as part of wider efforts to make university campuses safer.

Alongside the partnership with the Higher Education sector, the latest phase of Enough also contains billboard and poster advertising on public transport networks and in sports clubs, as well as social media adverts, including on platforms relevant to younger audiences.

Home Secretary, James Cleverly said:

No woman or girl should ever feel unsafe in her home or in her community and we have gone further than ever before in protecting them from abuse.

The Enough campaign aims to deliver a generational shift in the attitudes and behaviours which lead to abuse – everyone has a role to play.

While the government will continue to bring into force new laws to tackle these vile crimes, equip the police to bring more criminals to justice and provide victims with the support they need, the Enough campaign empowers the public to do their part to call out abuse when they see it and safely intervene when appropriate.

Minister for Victims and Safeguarding, Laura Farris said:

In order to bring about real and lasting change, we need to address the issue of violence against women and girls from all sides, and that includes educating the public on the role they have to play.

We are driving forward our plans to protect women from abuse, whenever and wherever it occurs – online, in public, at work or behind closed doors.

Already this year we have classified violence against women as a national threat for policing and rolled out a new approach to how rape is investigated by forces in England and Wales. There will be more to come.

Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales said:

If we are to effectively tackle violence against women and girls, this requires a whole society approach with the education sector playing a key role. I welcome the latest phase of the Enough campaign as it expands into university campuses. Government commitments to future iterations of this campaign are crucial if we are to see the wider cultural shifts we know are necessary.

Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales said:

I welcome this phase of the Enough campaign which aims to tackle violence against women and girls on university campuses.

We will all know someone who has been impacted by domestic abuse and we have a collective responsibility to respond empathetically and effectively the first time they come forward for support.

This campaign is an important step forward, providing the resources we need to tackle violence against women and girls. We must show zero tolerance to abuse in all its forms.

Professor Eunice Simmons, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, one of the universities partnering with Enough, said:

Campaigns such as Enough are fundamental in driving the proactive message that violence against women and girls will not be tolerated and we are proud to support such an initiative which underpins the many projects we already have in place to ensure the safety of our student body and our wider community.

We want every member of our university community to feel secure, safe and supported. With the help of valued external local and regional partners and the support of the Enough campaign, we can help create an environment where safety, respect, and dignity prevail.

Andrea Simon, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), said:

We’re pleased to see this latest phase of the government’s Enough campaign partner with universities, which is important if we are to address the sexual harassment and violence experienced by students, prevent abuse, and shift the deeply rooted attitudes and beliefs that drive male violence against women.

Implementing violence prevention and bystander programmes can empower students to recognise abuse and intervene safely when they witness problematic behaviour, but it is also critical that students know where they can go for support if they experience abuse.

Ending violence against women is everyone’s business and it is particularly crucial that this next phase of this campaign is well-funded, over the longer-term, and positively engages boys and young men, who are a key part of this work.

The Enough campaign has previously partnered with Channel 4 programme Hollyoaks on a specific storyline around violence against women and girls. In the episode, Maxine Minniver, played by Nikki Sanderson, was attacked when walking home from a night out. The episode, which aired in November 2022, aimed to prompt discussion from the audience about women’s safety and how we can all build a safer society for women.

Hollyoaks Actor, Nikki Sanderson said:

It’s now a year on from the Hollyoaks’ special ‘Long Walk Home’ episode and I’m so proud of what we achieved with this campaign. I am also really thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a powerful episode and to support the government’s Enough campaign in attempting to change attitudes and behaviours that influence violence against women and girls. I believe it is an important issue to revisit as violence against women and girls is unfortunately something that we still see every day. It is a long-term societal issue that we are all working together to tackle.

As highlighted in both the episode and the Enough campaign messaging, women and girls should be free to enjoy their lives without experiencing abuse. The Enough campaign is uniting the public around the rejection of abuse and ensuring perpetrators behaviour will be challenged, and I am proud for the opportunity I had to bring this serious issue to life within this episode.

The Enough Campaign, which launched in March 2022, has to date included television adverts, billboards, social media and radio advertising. The campaign, informed by over 180,000 responses to the Home Office’s call for evidence and engagement with a network of over 40 stakeholder organisations and academic experts, has so far reached millions of people, driving action among bystanders and prompting reflection among potential perpetrators of violence against women and girls.

The campaign is just one way the government is prioritising tackling violence against women and girls.

The Chancellor unveiled £12 million of new funding to tackle domestic abuse in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday (22 November), including £2 million of funding for payments directly to victims to help them leave abusive relationships and rebuild their lives.

All police forces across England and Wales are now following a new approach for the investigation of rape, funded by the Home Office, with police referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service for adult rape offences already up more than 200% since 2019.  Under the new model, police and prosecutors can access better support and 2,000 police investigators will be specially trained in sexual offences by April 2024.

Earlier this year, the government added violence against women and girls to the Strategic Policing Requirement – meaning it is now categorised as a national threat for forces to respond to, alongside other serious threats like terrorism.

The Home Office also continues to fund “perpetrator intervention” projects which aim to stop domestic abusers and stalkers from repeatedly targeting victims and terrorising vulnerable people.

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