A new Welsh Government multi-media campaign has been launched today to tackle some of the underlying reasons for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The TV, radio and online adverts show people in situations challenging our ideas about gender. A man working as a midwife, a woman working as a mechanic, a young man expertly applying make-up and a girl playing with a truck, covered in mud.
People are being encouraged to engage in the online campaign to talk about their experiences and concepts of stereotypes using #thisisme.
The THIS IS ME campaign is part of the Welsh Government’s Live Fear Free campaign to tackle violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. It is part of a longer term campaign that will grow to look at other causes and consequences of abuse and violence.
The Welsh Government has been working with survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence and subject experts to develop a campaign which deals with the underlying reasons for abuse.
Leader of the House Julie James said:
“The THIS IS ME campaign is part of our on-going commitment to rid Wales of the scourge of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Gender inequality is a cause and consequence of this abuse and violence.
It uses positive examples to challenge gender stereotypes and show that everyone has the right to be who they want to be and achieve their potential.
I hope THIS IS ME will create a discussion about gender stereotypes and I want people to engage in the campaign by talking about their own experiences. Everyone in Wales deserves to live fear free of gender stereotypes and abuse.”
The new Welsh Government National Advisers for Violence against Women, Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Yasmin Khan and Nazir Afzal have backed the campaign.
Yasmin Khan said:
“The world can feel different, depending on your gender – gender can affect how safe we feel, where we go, what job we feel able to apply for and other people’s expectations of us. The challenges around gender stereotypes and inequality limit all of us and puts pressure on us to conform to outdated, traditional values which are out of sync with today's Wales.”
Nazir Afzal said:
“This is the first stage in a campaign to raise awareness of the underlying reasons for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence, in order to challenge those ideas and behaviours and help build a society which does not tolerate these abhorrent acts.”
Emma Renold, Professor of Childhood Studies at Cardiff University is a member of the stakeholder group that helped develop the campaign.
Emma Renold said:
“Safely and creatively challenging the impact of gender norms is at the heart of how to address all forms of gender based and sexual violence. This involves working together to make gender equity and equality a reality for all”
The campaign is also supported by You Tube vlogger Reuben de Maid, he said:
“I believe everyone should feel free to be themselves. My mum has always told me, my brothers and my sister that being yourself is the only way to be happy, and surely that’s what we all want for one another - to be happy and fear free. That’s why I’m encouraging everybody to support the #thisisme campaign.”