Don’t Be That Guy

Urging Men to Own Their Role to End Rape

Sex without consent is sexual assault, also known as, rape. 

Today, Battered Women’s Support Services has partnered with Vancouver Police Department, Bar Watch, WAVAW and BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre in Don’t Be That GuyDon’t Be That Guy – a behavioural marketing campaign sends the message that sex without consent is sexual assault.  We are sending a visual message to men between the ages of 18 – 25, graphically demonstrating their role in ending alcohol facilitated sexual assaults.  Don’t Be That Guy shifts the emphasis to men to take responsibility for their behaviour.  Studies involving 18-25 year old men revealed that 48 per cent of the men did not consider it rape if a woman is too drunk to know what is going on.

The original vision for Don’t Be That Guy  was a community collaboration in Edmonton, Alberta in response to recognition of increased reports of alcohol facilitated sexual assaults in their city. The community collaboration called themselves SAVE (Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton) and their major partners were Edmonton Police Service, Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre, Saffron Centre,  Alberta Health Services – Covenant Health, Prostitution Action and Awareness Foundation of Edmonton, University of Alberta Women’s Studies Program, Red Cross (Edmonton), Responsible Hospitality Edmonton and several community advocates. Here’s more about SAVE.

Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims/women by urging women to restrict their behaviour. We know through our work at Battered Women’s Support Services and research confirms that women are, on a daily basis, taking remarkable steps to prevent victimization, and  that targeting the behaviour of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to how much they, the offender and the larger public (including law enforcement and justice system) blame women after the assault.  Here’s more information about Sexual Assault – Rape.  The behaviour of men, including the sense of entitlement in regards to sex and access to women’s bodies is what is being challenged through this campaign.   Don’t Be That Guy is urging men to end rape.

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In order to effective change and end rape we must put the onus on the ones responsible for the assault to be responsible for stopping it. Don’t Be That Guy is intended to address alcohol-facilitated sexual assault without victim-blaming.  These three posters are appearing in restrooms in Vancouver downtown core bar district.  Bar district staff are being trained to recognize and respond to situations of risk, to hold potential offenders responsible and to ensure the safety of potential victims.

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Battered Women’s Support Services has been working to prevent violence against women for 32 years.  For 20 years we have delivered violence prevention and healthy relationships information to youth in middle and high schools in BC.  Our Youth Engagement in Violence Prevention Program is in development with a heavy emphasis on “by-stander” intervention components, urging those who are silent and witnessing to become engaged participants to respond to instances of domestic and/or sexual violence.  When we launched The Violence Stops Here in 2010, Battered Women’s Support Services urged men to own their role in ending violence against women.  Last year we responded to 9,500 requests for information and support.  If you have been sexually assaulted or if you are dealing with violence in an intimate relationship call us at 604-687-1867 or toll-free at 1-855-687-1868.  The posters are available for download or email us at

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Don’t Be That Guy – Urging Men to Own Their Role to End Rape

Update!  Media and Pictures from the Press Conference

The Vancouver Police Department Don’t Be That Guy press release

The Province ‘Don’t be that guy,’ say police

CBC Sexual Assaults Targeted in Poster Campaign

News 1130 Don’t Be That Guy Campaign Kicks Off

CKNW 980 AM Don’t Be That Guy Campaign Launched to Prevent Sexual Assaults

Kelvin Claveria Kelvin (KC) Claveria’s Blog

Vancouver Courier Cops Target Predatory Bar Patrons in Vancouver

India Times Quotes

Stephen Hui – The Georgia Straight
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