New campaign aims to help end harassment and misogyny on nights out in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council, Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation, have joined forces on a trailblazing campaign against harassment and misogyny on nights out.

The #DontCrossTheLine campaign has been created in response to reports from local residents and venues that there has been a rise in misogynistic behaviours in the night-time economy since the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It uses stark, perpetrator targeted messaging that lists the types of behaviours - like touching, groping, staring, or grabbing - that are not tolerated in nighttime venues in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and the City of London.

The campaign was informed by insight work with over 200 young men in Hackney who said that they thought there wasn’t enough awareness about the types of behaviours that were illegal.

Results of a survey by UN Women published in March 2021 found that 97 per cent of young women in the UK said they had been sexually harassed, while 80 per cent reported experiencing sexual harassment in public spaces.

ONS research also shows that nearly 800,000 women aged 16 and over had experienced sexual assault in the year ending March 2022, with Internet Matters research demonstrating the impact of misogynistic online content targeted at boys and young men. 

Building on the success of the launch, the partnership campaign will target visitors to Shoreditch’s nightlife by calling out unwanted behaviours and highlighting that harassment is a crime.

The launch comes during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and ahead of a busy festive period, as part of the three authorities’ strategies to tackle abuse and anti-social behaviour. 

The project is supported by the Met Police, who have been working closely with the boroughs to organise additional enforcement activities, including pop-up welfare events, safety briefings for bars and clubs, and CCTV radio networks.

The City of London Police also supports the campaign and protecting women and girls from violence is at the heart of its Christmas operation. The operation covers the whole of the City which neighbours Shoreditch and includes a number of safety initiatives, aimed at keeping women safe such as, training bar staff on the dangers of drinking spiking and increased police patrols.

Lutfur Rahman, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for Tower Hamlets Council and we know it can be linked to sexual harassment and abuse in the nighttime economy.

“Partnering with our neighbouring boroughs, Hackney, and City of London, we’re calling out any abuse and harassment and making clear it will not be tolerated. In Tower Hamlets we recently approved a new licensing policy to deliver training to licensed premises, so they can better identify, prevent, and reduce sexual violence and vulnerability.”

You can find out more about the campaign on the council website.
Posted on Thursday 30th November 2023