• A graphic new advertising campaign will be broadcast on TV from this week, commissioned by Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • #FindYourVoice is designed to tackle the harassment and unwanted attention women receive in Gloucestershire
  • The video shows a young man with no mouth, staying silent as he witnesses harassment during his day
  • Tackling violence against women and girls is one of Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson’s policing priorities

A shocking new advertising campaign led by Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner launches on TV this week.

Entitled #FindYourVoice, the series of adverts will target men across Sky TV, radio, Spotify and social media – hoping to encourage them to speak out against incidents of harassment towards women, which they may witness. The campaign doesn’t suggest that all men behave this way, but hopes to encourage those who behave appropriately to speak up and make a difference.

The advert, which was created by award-winning creative agency Affixxius, depicts the day of a young man who appears to have no mouth. He witnesses harassment and unwanted attention towards women on his commute; at the office; and finally with his mates in the pub. It’s not until the final scene he ‘finds his voice’ by speaking out against his friend’s unacceptable behaviour, and his mouth returns.

The concept is based on evidence from Exeter-based intervention training specialists – Kindling Interventions. Their training speaks of a psychological phenomenon known as the ‘Bystander Effect’. In simple terms, it demonstrates that humans are less likely to help a person in need if there are other people present, assuming someone else will take the lead.

Find Your Voice
Find Your Voice is a campaign by Gloucestershire OPCC designed to encourage men to speak up against harassment towards women

Kindling Intervention’s training programme explains that when harassment or sexist behaviours are left unchallenged, the perpetrator believes that each of the silent bystanders agree with and endorse their problematic behaviour. This encourages them to engage in it more often – sometimes leading to more serious sexual violence.

Therefore, the simple act of speaking up helps to both support victims and highlight unacceptable behaviour to perpetrators.

Sophie Jarrett is Gloucestershire’s County Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV) Strategic Coordinator: “Women have to endure harassment and unwanted attention on an almost daily basis, so we hope this campaign will encourage men to become allies, calling out this behaviour, wherever it’s happening.

“Interventions aren’t always confrontational, it can be as simple as a quiet word with a mate, right through to formally reporting harassment in the workplace. But we hope this campaign reminds men that they can make a difference, by speaking out.”

The ambitious project was undertaken thanks to funding secured from the Home Office Safer Streets Fund, by Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Chris Nelson is Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner: “This project supports my priority to tackle men’s violence against women and girls in Gloucestershire. It’s such an important issue but one we can’t fix alone. Our hope is that this campaign will spark conversations and encourage cultural change – encouraging men to speak out against harassment and unwanted attention.”