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Police Scotland campaign against sexual assault criticized for guilt among men

A Police Scotland campaign against sexual assault, backed by Nicola Sturgeon, has been split after some claimed it was ‘guilt’ from men – while others called it a ‘powerful message’.

The Don’t Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behavior and gestures that some dismiss as innocent, such as “staring at a girl on the bus” or “whistling at her on the street.”

The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week on Twitter next to the caption: “Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem. But it stares us in the face. Sexual assault starts long before you think it’s happening.’

However, some have criticized the video for “guilt in men,” with one person writing: “Do you really think the small minority of men who do this take notice of such videos or that these videos are an excuse to dump men in general? and devalue? their role in the bigger picture?’

Meanwhile, others defended the video, suggesting it was “a powerful message and so true,” commenting, “Most women have experienced at least one on a night out, if not more.”

A police campaign in Scotland against sexual assault, backed by Nicola Sturgeon, has been criticized for 'guilting men' for calling women 'pop' and saying they look 'nice'

A police campaign in Scotland against sexual assault, backed by Nicola Sturgeon, has been criticized for ‘guilting men’ for calling women ‘pop’ and saying they look ‘nice’

During the clip, a series of male actors talk to the camera with the question, “Have you ever mentioned a girl doll? Or did she whistle at her as she walked down the street?

‘Ever stared at a woman on the bus or said to a buddy: would I do that?

“Have you ever complimented a girl like ‘Nice’ and wondered why you didn’t get a thank you?”

The script continued, “Ever slipped into a girl’s DM and went ahead and just showed her?

The Don't Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behaviors and gestures that some dismiss as innocent and make changes, such as 'staring at a girl on the bus' or 'whistling at her on the street'

The Don't Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behaviors and gestures that some dismiss as innocent and make changes, such as 'staring at a girl on the bus' or 'whistling at her on the street'

The Don’t Be That Guy initiative urges men to look at their own behaviors and gestures that some dismiss as innocent and make changes, such as ‘staring at a girl on the bus’ or ‘whistling at her on the street’

“Ever bought a girl’s dinner and thought that meant she owed you something?

“Did you ever shoot her three times in a row, hoping you’d take a picture of her? What then… wasted her in a cab and brought her back to yours?

“Have you ever tripped her with guilt, or pressured her, or pushed her in, and then left, feeling like a man?

“Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem, but it’s staring us right in the face.

Many criticized the video suggesting it was “guilt” men, with some even labeling the ad as “sexist”

“Sexual assault starts long before you think it’s happening. Don’t be that guy.’

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has supported the campaign, reposting it in a tweet, commenting: ‘This new Police Scotland campaign is powerful and important.

“I would ask all men to watch this film – and then encourage your sons, fathers, brothers and friends to do the same.”

However, the campaign has been criticized, with some suggesting that it is ‘guilt’.

The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week along with the caption: 'Most guys don't look in the mirror and see a problem.  But it stares us in the face.  Sexual assault starts long before you think it's happening.'

The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week along with the caption: 'Most guys don't look in the mirror and see a problem.  But it stares us in the face.  Sexual assault starts long before you think it's happening.'

The video was shared by Police Scotland earlier this week along with the caption: ‘Most guys don’t look in the mirror and see a problem. But it stares us in the face. Sexual assault starts long before you think it’s happening.’

One person wrote; “This video made me feel guilty, even though I can say I’ve never done this before. What can I do?’

Another commented; Irony at its best. Talk about guilt as if this isn’t the whole point of this video. I even felt guilty and would never do this kind of thing in my life.’

“No compliments, drinks, food or babysitting drunk girls,” another added, “I get it.”

A fourth wrote: ‘Don’t worry, I won’t talk to women, ask them out on dates, treat them to dinner or any of the other things mentioned.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon supported the campaign, reposting it in a tweet, noting that it is 'powerful and important'

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon supported the campaign, reposting it in a tweet, noting that it is 'powerful and important'

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon supported the campaign, reposting it in a tweet, noting that it is ‘powerful and important’

Scotland's first minister asked 'all men' to watch the film and 'encourages sons, fathers, brothers and friends' to do the same

Scotland's first minister asked 'all men' to watch the film and 'encourages sons, fathers, brothers and friends' to do the same

Scotland’s first minister asked ‘all men’ to watch the film and ‘encourages sons, fathers, brothers and friends’ to do the same

“I just pay for sex, have an hour-long ‘date’, chat after sex and leave in peace.

“Easier in the current ‘whatever you do, it’s wrong’ mentality.”

However, others joined Nicola in support of the campaign, with one writing: ‘This is such a powerful message and so true. Most women have experienced at least one on a night out, if not more.

“Times must change and we must change our attitudes to make future generations safe.”

Another wrote: ‘The whole point of this ad is to point out that what you think is okay sometimes isn’t okay.

Others, however, joined Nicola in support of the campaign, with one writing it was a “powerful message.”

“But women don’t talk because it’s (really) scary. We learn to laugh it off or tell a white lie to get away. Please use it as an opportunity to think.”

A third added: ‘This is a very powerful video. Men like myself and people my age need to stand up more against sexual violence against women and girls.

Good that this video focuses 100% on men, because men are the only reason for this violence. Very well done to all involved.’

The campaign comes amid a sweltering national feud over women’s safety following the murders of Miss Everard and primary school teacher Sabina Nessa, with thousands sharing their experiences of feeling unsafe on Britain’s streets, parks and other public spaces.

Couzens, 48, murdered Miss Everard, 33, after she used Covid powers to make a fake arrest and kidnap the marketing manager while walking down a street in Clapham in March. The disgraced officer was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey last week.

Meanwhile, students plan to boycott nightclubs next week as part of nationwide protests called Girls Night In, with more than 30 universities boycotting clubs in an effort to force venues to increase security measures.

It comes in response to a reported rise in spiked drinks and a new alarming trend of girls being unknowingly administered drugs.

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