Minister McEntee relaunches ‘No Excuses’ awareness campaign on sexual harassment and violence

November 16, 2020

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has announced that ‘No Excuses’, the major national awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence, will be relaunched today.

The three year ‘No-Excuses’ campaign was paused when the country went into lockdown in March. 

This important campaign, which is part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021, will be relaunched through a new TV ad, reinforced by outdoor and social media advertising, and two new radio adverts. It will help people recognise the many precursors to sexual harassment and sexual violence.

‘Still Here’, a separate campaign, has run since April and has specifically highlighted the issue of domestic violence during lockdown. ‘Still Here’ alerts victims of domestic abuse that frontline services are still available during the pandemic and encourages victims or those in fear of abuse to reach out for help.

‘No Excuses’ aims to make people question their reaction to instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence and realise there are no excuses that can make this unacceptable behaviour acceptable in any setting.

The ‘No Excuses’ ads feature both male and female perpetrators and victims and calls on us to stop excusing sexual harassment and sexual violence. 

 Speaking about the relaunch of the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, Minister McEntee said

 Sexual harassment and sexual violence do not stop in a pandemic and can occur in many different settings. We need to continue to work towards changing attitudes to sexual harassment and sexual violence, to stop excusing it in any form and to reach a collective understanding that sexual harassment and sexual violence are unacceptable.

 “The ‘No Excuses’ campaign is designed to make us question our attitude to sexual harassment and sexual violence, are we excusing it, and what are the ramifications?”

 

Minister McEntee highlighted the importance of public information campaigns such as ‘No Excuses’

“It is vitally important to promote awareness through campaigns and education at all levels to ensure that the general public are fully informed of the various forms of violence that women experience on a regular basis, as well as of the different manifestations of domestic abuse.

“The EU Istanbul Convention obliges Member States to promote and conduct awareness-raising campaigns, together with civil society, and in particular together with women’s organisations. Ireland is obliged to disseminate information to make the general public more aware of ways to prevent acts of violence.”

The ads will continue to direct viewers to the campaign website gov.ie/noexcuses which provides further information as well as advice on how to help in such situations.

 The Minister added,

 

Combatting all forms of domestic, sexual and gender based violence in Irish society is a key priority for me and my Department. The ‘No Excuses’ campaign is not only about alerting people who have been victims of sexual harassment and sexual violence that help is available, it is about making us all look at our behaviours and attitudes in this space.

 “It is about starting the conversations and bringing us towards a collective realisation that by making excuses for inappropriate behaviour we are allowing a culture that tolerates sexual harassment and sexual violence to exist - that is not acceptable.”