Research by the University of Brighton has shown than publicity campaigns can help combat alcohol-fueled sexual contact.
Dr Matthew Wood, from the University’s Brighton Business School, teamed up with Professor Paurav Shukla from Essex Business School to evaluate a campaign by the alcohol education charity Drinkaware.
The charity decided to tackle what is a growing problem – 35 per cent of women and 9 per cent of men have reported receiving unwanted sexual contact on a night out, ranging from grabbing and groping to serious sexual assault (YouGov, 2016).
Their campaign message was: ‘If you wouldn’t do it or tolerate it when sober, then you shouldn’t when drunk’ and the campaign targeted young adults in the North West of England through cinemas, advertising, posters, Spotify, YouTube and social media.
The campaign team surveyed more than 2,000 people before and after the campaign and their feedback was compared with those from a control group who had not been exposed to the campaign.
Dr Wood and Professor Shukla looked into whether the campaign had changed attitudes. And they’ve found it was a success, with significantly more women saying they were less likely to tolerate unwanted sexual attention after seeing the campaign.
Dr Wood said: “Our evaluation showed that targeted social advertising can be effective in re-establishing boundaries, leading to a positive impact on anti-social behaviours.”
Professor Shukla said: “It has been observed by police in the UK that unwanted sexual attention in pubs, bars and nightclubs has become so common that people don't even bother reporting it.
“Our evaluation showed that targeted social advertising can be effective in re-establishing boundaries, leading to a positive impact on anti-social behaviours."
Dr John Larsen, Director of Evidence and Impact at Drinkaware, said: “Drinkaware has now built upon the success of this campaign to develop a new strand which will encourage young people who are witnesses of sexual harassment to take action.”