The Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints about the ‘sexist’ posters in the Northumbria Police campaign.
A poll found that 60% of percent of people believe that Northumbria Police’s latest domestic abuse campaign is sexist.
The force landed itself in hot water with a poster campaign referring to abusers as ‘he’ and victims as ‘she’ was launched on social media.
The images were designed to highlight the new legislation on coercive and controlling behaviour which came into force on December 29.
Advertising regulator, ASA has confirmed it has received four complaints about the posters which campaign groups blasted as ‘biased and offensive’.
More than half of our readers polled said they thought the posters were sexist.
On the Chronicle Facebook page, Claire Nicholson commented: “It’s very sexist! It’s not just women who suffer domestic violence, a lot of women also dish it out. Just because more female victims come forward than men, doesn’t mean it’s more common among females to be victims! These posters are disgraceful!”
Jason Sewell added: “The fight for equality works both ways. These posters are shocking. Surely it must have been run through someone at the equality and diversity department. These posters need tearing down and removing from public view.”
However not everyone thought the posters were sexist and praised the police’s campaign.
Amanda Harbron said: “It could have been worded better but not sexist. It’s a good campaign and deserves good press not negativity. Mental cruelty and coercive control is not about who irons your shirts. It’s a living hell.”
Nicky Scott said she thought Northumbria should have used a mixture of pronouns in the posters for example, ‘She says he’s free to leave whenever he wants, but she’ll make sure he never sees the children again.’
Nicky said: “It would have been very easy to produce two or three posters aimed at male victims. I believe Vera Baird means well and she is driven to the cause, which is impressive, but she would make a bigger impact if she weren’t so tunnel visioned.
“I believe that there is a need for gender specific places of help, but that place is not the police. The police should always be neutral and on the side of victims – whatever sex they are.”
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said it had received a number of complaints and the force will consider the responses ‘going forwards’.
They said the initial focus was on women as in the vast majority of cases reported to the police, women are the victims.
The spokesperson said: “The offence isn’t limited to just one gender or sexual orientation, anyone can be a victim of coercive control.
“We do acknowledge there are male victims out there and would encourage anyone who suffers domestic violence to contact police and seek help and support.