To mark 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence (GBV), Police Scotland has teamed up with Glasgow Caledonian University to launch the University’s #EraseTheGrey campaign across the country.
#EraseTheGrey aims to dispel myths about gender-based violence including murder, rape and sexual assault, female genital mutilation, stalking, and the behaviours which can cause serious harm or death. The campaign features statements such as “it’s romantic, it’s not stalking” before switching the statement to read “it’s stalking”.
Created by staff and students at the University, #EraseTheGrey will be shared and broadcast across Police Scotland’s digital channels from 25th November 2019 and is expected to reach an audience of more than two million Scots.
Professor Pamela Gillies, principal and vice-chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, explained the campaign was based on evidence from academic research on gender-based violence.
“The campaign has simple messages, challenges myths, helps raise awareness and directs people to appropriate support services. As the University for the Common Good, we are delighted to share this resource with Police Scotland and the wider public,” she said.
The launch comes as new figures reveal the seriousness of GBV. Over the past six years, 56 people have been murdered as a result of domestic abuse, an average of nine people every year. Of that figure, nearly three-quarters of victims were female, and in those cases 82% of the perpetrators were male.
Two-thirds of victims were aged between 41 and 50 years of age and nearly two-thirds of perpetrators were over 40 years old, with the highest number aged between 51 and 60 years of age.
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Police Scotland has said it is committed to eradicating all forms of GBV, which includes domestic abuse, rape and sexual crime, and honour-based abuse including forced marriage.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal described the campaign as both innovative and to the point. “It banishes any doubt about the many forms that gender-based violence can take or the excuses offenders commonly use to explain their criminal actions.
“Preventing gender-based violence is our ultimate goal, but policing on its own is not the solution. Domestic homicide is an extreme form of gender-based violence but serves as an example of the serious harm which continues to occur across Scotland and which we must all collectively challenge.
“Tackling gender-based violence is the responsibility of society as a whole, all of us working together to recognise it, challenge it and support those who have experienced it and to report it to the police or other appropriate services.”
Boal said that the wide reach of Police Scotland’s digital channels would help maximise the spread of the campaign. “By maximising its spread, we hope it will give people the confidence to report criminal behaviour either to police or to our partners. But more importantly, it will challenge the perceptions and excuses of those people who perpetrate gender-based violence,” she said.