Today is International Women’s Day and we’re working with our partners to highlight that “ONLY” is not an excuse for inappropriate behaviour because there is no excuse and to call it out whenever they come across it.
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Whether it’s with friends or your own sub-conscious, one word always appears to excuse inappropriate behaviour. “ONLY”.
- I “ONLY” pinched her bum
- I “ONLY” wolf whistled at her
- I “ONLY” commented on her body
- I “ONLY” pressed against her
- I “ONLY” walked behind her
- I “ONLY” raped her
“ONLY” shouldn’t be in any of the above because there is no excuse for any actions that causes fear, alarm or distress. Violence and abuse against women and girls in all forms is wrong.
Inspector Claire McGrady of North Wales Police, said, “ONLY” is something we come across all the time and for many it’s normal to excuse their behaviour in this way. We’re keen to encourage everyone to call it out and to raise awareness of the harm, fear and distress it causes.
“It’s certainly not OK. It’s also very disrespectful and women deserve and expect better.”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said, “Whether it’s happening on a night out, in the workplace or college it needs to be addressed and men have a responsibility to face up to the consequences of their actions and those of others.
“They should call it out or find out how they themselves can be more respectful to women.”
Attitudes that condone and normalise abusive behaviour are part of our culture. From sexist jokes and “banter” through to harassment and rape.
The campaign encourages men to call out this behaviour wherever they are.
Calling out others on their behaviour is not about humiliating or shaming them, or getting into a fight. It’s about educating and encouraging a change in attitudes.
We should only call out disrespectful/harmful behaviours and attitudes in a way that is safe for everyone involved.
If you are concerned about your own behaviour, another man’s behaviour or want to help women feel safer check out https://gov.wales/call-out-only and follow the links.
You can also get advice on how to find out more and how to be a better ally to women to make them feel safe.
The “Call Out Only is a Wales wide campaign by the Welsh Government that we’re supporting as part of the Safer Streets Campaign here in Wrexham.