A new campaign is being launched to warn men who grope women that they are committing a crime.
The campaign by Citysafe, the community safety partnership, says “There’s no excuseâ¦don’t grab, grope, pinch, fondle” and that claims such as “It was only a bit of fun” are completely unacceptable.
It points out that such behaviour is not only unwelcome and unacceptable but it constitutes sexual assault which is a serious crime.
The campaign started when a number of strategic groups, including the Student Safety Group and Violence against Women and Girls, expressed concern about an increasing number of sexual assaults against women especially in the night time economy of the city centre.
“It is difficult to quantify as these are incidents which are massively underreported, ” said Councillor Emily Spurrell, Mayoral lead on Community Safety. “But the feedback we are getting is that it is a serious and growing problem especially for women who go to city centre bars and clubs.
“.Not only is it unpleasant and unwelcome to say the least but there should be no doubt that inappropriate sexual touching is a criminal offence.
“We want men to be aware of this and think about what they are doing – it is not a joke or a bit of fun. No one should have to put up with this sort of behaviour and everyone should be able to enjoy themselves without this unwanted attention.”
The campaign will be highlighted in social media including Facebook and Twitter and will feature a series of posters.
As part of the campaign, bar and door staff are being given regular and ongoing training to enable them to identify potential examples of inappropriate touching , to offer appropriate support to victims and ensure issues are reported.
They will also be made aware of the help and support for victims of sexual assault by local services such as SAFEPlace Merseyside (SARC) and Rape and Sexual Abuse Service (RASA).