Campaign Launches to Tackle Inappropriate Behaviour Towards Women and Girls

The “Just Don’t” campaign is the latest step in the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin’s fight to improve the safety of women and girls, alongside partners across the region.

19 September 2023

A powerful new campaign launches today aimed at tackling everyday harassment and inappropriate male behaviour towards women and girls.

The “Just Don’t” campaign is the latest step in the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin’s fight to improve the safety of women and girls, alongside partners across the region.    

Shocking research has shown that 86% of young women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment in public and the Mayor is urging everybody in the region to be an ally, step up, call it out and help stop it.    

The campaign, being launched during Violence Against Women and Girls Week of Action, is centred around a powerful video which shows men and boys making excuses for inappropriate behaviour and harassment in everyday situations. This escalates to a chilling finale where a male perpetrator makes a threat about knowing where a young woman lives.

Watch the campaign video

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said:     

“The fact that we, as women and girls, have to face constant harassment and abuse in our everyday lives is appalling, but sadly not surprising.    

This isn’t about blame — men and boys have a key role to play in helping us end this behaviour. This is about encouraging them as allies to see the problem and empowering them to help us by stepping up and calling it out.   

Things must change. Our message in this campaign is that it’s not banter, it’s not harmless, and it’s not OK — so just don’t. I’m urging everybody to join us in this fight to tackle inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls."    

Behind the 86% figure are real people.  

The campaign was developed following research and testing with focus groups, which found men were frequently unaware of the issues women face all too often. The key message is “Just Don’t”, with the video calling on men and boys to reflect on their own behaviour as well as that of their friends and family.

Women from West Yorkshire have told us about their concerns and experiences. 

One young woman said: "I’d have been at the police station weekly, or sometimes daily, if I’d reported every time I’ve been groped, followed etc."   

Another added:  “Over the years I’ve [been] grabbed, [had] comments made a thousand times when in bars and clubs.”   

 And a third told us: "[I’ve been] trapped in a window seat on the bus by men who deliberately sit next to me rather than take one of many empty double seats. Usually have to get off the bus at a different stop and go into a shop to make sure they’re not following me."    

Det Ch Supt Lee Berry, Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership, which is supporting the campaign, said:   

“This campaign highlights the shocking extent of harassment and intimidation that women and girls endure on a daily basis.    

Collectively we need to be the difference, it starts and stops with the behaviour and attitude of men and boys.   

By working together, understanding the impact and setting the expectations, we can bring about the change needed.”  


Detective Superintendent Vanessa Rolfe, West Yorkshire Police’s Lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, said:

“Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls continues to be a top priority for West Yorkshire Police, and we will continue to work alongside our partners to raise awareness around the impact of inappropriate behaviour.

“We are pleased to have been involved with the development of this campaign, which highlights realistic situations that women and girls are faced with here in West Yorkshire on a daily basis.

“We will continue to have a zero-tolerance policy towards abuse, harassment and violence against women and girls and will support in changing the behaviour and culture that leads to offending.”

To find out more about the campaign and how you can help to improve the safety of women and girls, visit

Building on action already being taken in West Yorkshire

As the country’s first and only female metro-mayor, Tracy Brabin has made tackling violence against women and girls a top priority.

This campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives led by Mayor Brabin to improve their safety, including:

  • Launching new guidelines to help make parks safer for women and girls.
  • Funding the “Ask for Angela” scheme which enables those who feel vulnerable or unsafe to seek help in bars, clubs, or businesses. Over 700 venues are now signed up to the programme.
  • Securing £14 million for victims’ services across the next three years, many of which support women and girls.
  • Launching a bus safety feedback tool to find out how safe people feel on our bus network so that we can work with the police and bus companies to take action in hot spots.

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