The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has announced the relaunch of a major national awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence.
The three year campaign called No Excuses was paused back in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, as part of the campaign, Beat presenter Michelle Heffernan produced a podcast series which has now been nominated for the 2019 Mary Raftery Prize.
Sponsored by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and funded by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, the winner will receive an award of €1000 and a medal.
The Music De Domhnaigh presenter joins journalists from across Ireland who have produced content in 2019 which had a significant impact on society, according to prize judges Prof. Mary Corcoran, Pat Brennan and Andy Pollak.
Speaking about the 'No Exuses', Minister McEntee says the Beat podcast series perfectly embodied the aims of the campaign.
"The Minister would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Michelle Heffernan and Beat FM.
"Their ‘Enough is Enough’ podcast series, which was produced in partnership with the Department of Justice as part of the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Mary Raftery Prize for outstanding social affairs journalism.
"This podcast series epitomises what the ‘No Excuses’ campaign aims to achieve in creating conversations that question our own attitudes towards sexual harassment and sexual violence."
The 'No Excuses campaign is part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence and has been running since 2016 and is set to continue through 2021.
Two new radio adverts begin on Beat from 23rd November. They are joined by a TV ad, outdoor and social media advertising created to help people recognise the many precursors to sexual harassment and sexual violence.
‘No Excuses’ aims to make people question their reaction to instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence and realise there are no excuses that can make this unacceptable behaviour acceptable in any setting.
Speaking about the relaunch of the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, Minister McEntee said
“Sexual harassment and sexual violence do not stop in a pandemic and can occur in many different settings. We need to continue to work towards changing attitudes to sexual harassment and sexual violence, to stop excusing it in any form and to reach a collective understanding that sexual harassment and sexual violence are unacceptable.
“The ‘No Excuses’ campaign is designed to make us question our attitude to sexual harassment and sexual violence, are we excusing it, and what are the ramifications?”
Minister McEntee highlighted the importance of public information campaigns such as ‘No Excuses’.
“It is vitally important to promote awareness through campaigns and education at all levels to ensure that the general public are fully informed of the various forms of violence that women experience on a regular basis, as well as of the different manifestations of domestic abuse.
“The EU Istanbul Convention obliges Member States to promote and conduct awareness-raising campaigns, together with civil society, and in particular together with women’s organisations. Ireland is obliged to disseminate information to make the general public more aware of ways to prevent acts of violence.”
The ads will continue to direct viewers to the campaign website which provides further information as well as advice on how to help in such situations.
The Minister explains that combatting all forms of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland is a key prioity for her and her Department.
“It is about starting the conversations and bringing us towards a collective realisation that by making excuses for inappropriate behaviour we are allowing a culture that tolerates sexual harassment and sexual violence to exist - that is not acceptable.”
A separate campaign, ‘Still Here’, has run since April 2020, specifically highlighting the issue of domestic violence during lockdown.
‘Still Here’ alerts victims of domestic abuse that frontline services are still available during the pandemic and encourages victims or those in fear of abuse to reach out for help.
For information on the topic of domestic abuse in Ireland please see gov.ie/noexcuses