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"Don’t Be That Guy" Campaign Launch


Sergeant Matt Clarke
Sex Crimes Unit

The Vancouver Police Department, in partnership with BarWatch, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), and the BC Women’s Hospital Sexual Assault Service are launching the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign.

The primary goal of this campaign is to reduce incidents of sexual violence in the city of Vancouver. The campaign includes posters with a hard-hitting message aimed at males between the ages of 18 and 25, and that message is:

Sex without consent is sexual assault.

The posters will be in clubs and bars in the entertainment districts around the city for the months of July and August.

The VPD would like to acknowledge and thank the Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton Committee (also known as SAVE), which is a diverse coalition of individuals and group from various professional backgrounds working for women’s safety. SAVE developed the posters to raise awareness about sexual assault and particularly drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assault. These posters focus the responsibility for sexual violence on the offender where it belongs.

In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of reported sexual assaults. Analysis by the VPD Sex Crimes Unit indicates increased reports of sexual violence rise during the summer months.  In response to this concerning trend, the VPD and its partners are taking proactive measures to increase the safety of women in Vancouver and reduce alcohol- and drug-fuelled sexual violence.

The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign in Vancouver has three related components:

  • The poster campaign aims to shift accountability to the offenders and away from the victims. It is designed to reach out to young males with the message that sex without consent is sexual assault.
  • The Vancouver Police Department, together with BarWatch personnel, developed and delivered a training session to increase the awareness of front line bar staff and help them to more easily identify persons who are temporarily vulnerable due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Inspector Scott Thompson and the VPD Operations Division have committed to assign police members to the entertainment districts of Vancouver to specifically focus their attention on predatory males who may be targeting temporarily vulnerable women.

Any form of sexual violence is a devastating experience, with the potential for long-term effects on the victims. We have a great responsibility to speak plainly about this issue and take all possible measures to reduce sexual assaults.

The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign’s hard-hitting message is designed to focus attention on sexual violence and to force young males to recognize the boundary between consensual sexual contact and criminal sexual assault. Recent court decisions have supported the core message of this campaign:

Sex without consent is sexual assault.