One of Japan’s most striking public awareness commercials was released last month, but you won’t see it on TV because it was not made by Advertising Council Japan. The #ActiveBystander campaign against sexual violence toward women was made by two Japanese women and is raking up views on social media and understanding among watchers.
The ad portrays six common cases of sexual harassment that women in Japan experience on a daily basis: upskirting on an escalator; a butsukariya incident of a man intentionally banging into a woman’s chest as they pass each other on the street; groping by a cyclist; a persist on-street pickup attempt; a drug placed into a date’s drink; and a boss hugging and asking private questions of a female employee while out with co-workers on a company drinking event.
The opening shows a young man who sees the upskirting take place and then shows the other incidents from his point of view as a bystander, including him looking away because it’s all none of his business. The second half of the video shows the same man taking small actions, some of which stop or prevent the original incidents, some of which offer assistance to the victims.
For example, on the escalator, he steps closer to the upskirter, making him aware that someone can see what he is doing, and the upskirter puts away his smartphone. To the woman who has been knocked down by the butsukariya, he asks if she is OK.
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