63% of men do not think that a boy‘s behaviour when he disturbs a girl by pulling her hair or lifting her skirt is an innocent way to show attention. These and similar results of the public survey in Alytus, Jonava and Ukmerge were presented in two-week campaign #WhatCityPeopleThink in 2021 May.
The awareness raising campaign was aimed to change the stereotypes that justify and normalize violence and controlling behaviour. The ultimate goal – to strengthen the prevention of men’s violence against women.
The campaign was implemented by the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson together with the social advertising agency “Nomoshiti”.
Posters represent positive statistic from public survey: 93% of men think that we should support women who wants to end violent relationship; 68% of women think that disrispectful jokes about women enhance disrispect towards them, 63% of men do not think that a boy‘s behaviour when he disturbs a girl by pulling her hair or lifting her skirt is an innocent way to show attention; 73% of women think that man’s constant checking of her mobile phone calls and messages on social media is a controlling and violent behaviour. All of them ask the same question “What do you think?”
RADIO CLIPS (in Lithuanian)
Clips are telling the stories that though violence is invisible it is more common than everybody thinks – it can be experienced by your coworker, friend, neighbour.
Gender norms and stereotypes are the beginning of violence
Surveys of the population in the target regions have shown that the awareness of violence and its different forms is high enough, but society still tends to be guided by gender attitudes that justify or lead to violence. Men do this almost twice as often as women. For example, 46% of all the men interviewed agreed with the statement “Making love to a husband is a wife’s duty.” Only 21% of women agreed with the same statement.
Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson Ms. Birutė Sabatauskaitė notes that the results of the survey only once again confirm that we look at violence too leniently: “We tend to justify violence in certain cases. For example, when boys have a fight with each other, we don’t take the situation very seriously, as if it hurts them less. At the same time, we send the message that violence is the right way to express our feelings and needs. As they grow up and become men, these boys continue to apply the behaviours they learned in childhood.”
According to the ombudsperson, the demands on people of a certain gender are deeply ingrained in people’s subconscious and sometimes we don’t even notice ourselves behaving according to certain preconceived notions. “Girls are often taught from an early age to obey, not to stand out, not to complain. Meanwhile, boys are told not to express their emotions, not to cry, even when it hurts, and the seemingly innocent use of violence is often justified” says B. Sabatauskaitė, assessing her adherence to gender stereotypes.
The campaign was carried out by implementing project “BRIDGE: Connecting Local Community Members for Effective GBV Solutions”. It is the sole responsibility of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.