Saturday 19 October 2019

Campaign aims to tackle 'disturbingly high' levels of sexual harassment and violence

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A NEW campaign aiming to tackle Ireland's "disturbingly high levels" of sexual harassment and violence has been launched.

The ad campaign, ‘No Excuses’, will run over the next three years in response to what Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has described as “disturbingly high levels” of sexual related harassment and violence.

Beginning from tomorrow evening, the ads feature a range of scenarios including in the workplace, in a bar and in a locker-room.

They feature sexual harassment, unwanted sexual activity as well as attempting to prey on someone not in a position to give consent.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the aim of the campaign is to make people question responses to a range of such incidents which he said are “endemic” in society.

“Research has shown that Ireland suffers from disturbingly high levels of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

“These ads highlight and help people recognise these behaviours and the many precursors to them,” Mr Flanagan said.

“We want the campaign to provoke us all to ask: ‘Just what is our attitude to sexual harassment and sexual violence?

“Are we tolerating it? Are we excusing it? And if we are, even if we are doing so at the lower stages, are we facilitating a culture in which it is really hard for victims to be heard, to be helped, to be supported,” he added.

Reports have shown that Ireland has the highest level of claimed sexual harassment in Europe with 32pc on Irish women between the ages of 18 and 34 saying they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the last 12 months.

The number of alleged sexual offences are also increasing with 3,182 reported sex crimes last year, an increase of 26pc compared to 2017.

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