OK to Ask awareness campaign

Raising awareness about sexual harassment on drunken nights out and encouraging peer to peer support.

OK to Ask

In September 2017, following on from two years of raising awareness of sexual harassment in the night-time economy, as identified in our Drunken Nights Out: motivations, norms and rituals in the night-time economy report, we launched our ‘OK to Ask’ campaign. This encouraged 18-24 year olds on a night out to support peers on the receiving sexual harassment by asking ‘Are you ok?’ – if it is safe.

The main campaign was developed to run across various communications channels (cinema, digital TV, digital display, social media, outdoor advertising) and is supported by advice on how to take action in the situation.

OK to Ask goals:

• Encourage young people to look out for each other and give them confidence to step in 
• Provide support to people when they experience drunken sexual harassment
• Promote a more positive social atmosphere in the night time economy 

How we developed it:

The campaign was informed by bring together a range of experts including the police, Hollaback and the Susie Lamplugh Trust, and drew on evidence and tested on our target audience using focus groups of people aged 18-24 who go on drunken nights out.

What we achieved:

With our advertising campaign2  which ran in the North West of England:

• 54% of the target audience recalled the campaign
• 63% thought it would make a diference to attitudes towards drunken sexual harassment
• 82% felt the campaign made them want to intervene and help someone
• 74% thought the campaign provided enough information
• 30% of campaign recognisers said they had intervened after witnessing an incident
(against only 17% of those who hadn’t seen the campaign)

With our national PR campaign:

• Reached 76 million people including a broadcast exclusive on BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat
and coverage on front page of the Metro
• Widespread organic support across social media from stakeholders and the target audience

References

1 Fenton et al (2016) A review of evidence for bystander intervention to prevent sexual and domestic violence in universities. London: Public Health England.
Available online:http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/BBS/BUS/law/Law%20docs/bystander/Publications/PHE_PublishedLitReviewApr2016.pdf
2 The 2017 survey was conducted online between 30th October and 15th November 2017. The sample was drawn from YouGov’s online research panel.
415 18–24s in the North West (campaign region), and 416 in the Midlands (control region), were interviewed.

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