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Taking our Crime Not Compliment campaign from the screens to the streets

Taking our Crime Not Compliment campaign from the screens to the streets

Jess is a member of the Plan International UK Youth Advisory Panel and a campaigner for Our Streets Now

At the end of end of 2020, Plan International UK launched our #CrimeNotCompliment Campaign in partnership with Our Streets Now, calling on the government to make Public Sexual Harassment a criminal offence and this campaign was met with an incredible reception. With Our Streets Now having built a petition with over 439,000 signatures and Plan International UK running the ‘I Say It’s Not OK’ Street Harassment campaign a few years ago, the Crime Not Compliment campaign brought together the energy of youth activists with the knowledge and expertise of Plan International’s work on Public Sexual Harassment. This campaign was covered in major media outlets, created a large public discourse -even allowing us to meet the Home Security Priti Patel to discuss why PSH (Public Sexual Harassment) is such a huge problem for girls, women and marginalised genders across the UK. 

At the point where we thought the campaign couldn’t possibly get more exciting, it did just that! Clear Channel, one of the largest outdoor advertising companies, approached us to support the campaign and use their platform to take our message to the wider public. The plan was to create billboards that highlighted the campaign and over the period of 4 months we did just that!! We brought together a creative team from across Out Streets Now and Plan International UK to plan, design and produce our adverts. 

We had brainstorm sessions, design concepts and met regularly to discuss what message we wanted to send through these digital billboards. It has been a tough year for everyone and so we decided on the messaging of solidarity and of hope. With the idea being that if everyone would join this campaign and become part of this incredible movement, we can create real change. This opportunity has enabled us to name PSH where it happens – we wanted girls to see it and know it isn't ok and the public to see it called out where it so often takes place. 

Jess stands next to a Crime Not Compliment advert
Jess stands next to one of the Crime Not Compliment adverts, calling for public sexual harassment to be made a crime

We also wanted our billboards to stand out, so we came up with the concept of mixing Our Streets Now style illustrations of girls, women and marginalised genders in real life photographed places, based on testimonies from people and real stories. We wanted to amplify our intersectional messaging, as we know the most marginalised are the most affected. Then, our incredible designers, Sravya and Karolina went away and produced some amazing illustrations which were edited onto the photos and had animation added to them. 

These billboards will be up and down the country for 6 weeks, from shopping centres to bus stops and on major roadsides. The reach of these billboards is simply incredible as we take our message of solidarity and making change across the country. Thank you so much to Clear Channel for this incredible opportunity and for your support of our campaign, we look forward to continuing working in partnership with you. 

It is so important right now more than ever, to stand with girls, women and marginalised genders living in fear. We must see real change. We all have the power inside ourselves to make change happen, however small that power might be. It is up to us all collectively and up to you individually how you use that power and your privileges to create change. 

You can help us make public sexual harassment a crime in the UK in three very simple ways which will take you 5 minutes but make the world of difference. 

  1. Add your name to our campaign
  2. Email your MP
  3. Download our poster based on the billboards

If you see one of our adverts, remember to take a photo tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation to make public sexual harassment a crime in the UK. We all deserve to live without fear and you can help and make that happen. 

Make public sexual harassment a crime

show your support in your community by putting up our poster