Did they report it to stop it? A realist evaluation of the effect of an advertising campaign on victims’ willingness to report unwanted sexual behaviour
Tackling unwanted sexual behaviour (USB) on public transport is a concern for transit authorities across the world. However, high rates of underreporting mean a lack of reliable information about USB, presenting a key barrier to prevention. This paper presents a realist evaluation of an initiative called ‘Report It To Stop It’ (RITSI) implemented in London, UK, to tackle underreporting. RITSI aimed to encourage victims to report details of USB incidents to police and transit authorities through media campaigns. Results show that the initiative did increase reporting of USB and that this increase was not due to a rise in the prevalence of USB. Crucially, there was no evidence of any increase in passengers’ fear of crime during the campaign activity. However, the impacts of this campaign were more pronounced in earlier waves, and on certain modes of transport. These findings demonstrate the importance of the context in motivating reporting behaviour change.
KeywordsUnderreporting Transport crime Sexual harassment Public transport Unwanted sexual behaviour Crime reporting
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