"Thunderingly offensive" Sunderland City Council campaign "takes Britain back 60 years"

Equal rights campaigner and MP of 10 years, John Leech has condemned a "thunderingly offensive" campaign from Sunderland City Council which "takes Britain back about 60 years."

John Leech, who led the 'Ask for Angela' campaign in Manchester - a lifeline for vulnerable people on dates with strangers - has hit out at Sunderland Council's campaign as "thunderingly offensive."

A staggering campaign from Sunderland City Council which tells parents to talk to their daughters about drinking alcohol has been slammed as victim blaming.

Featured alongside is a young girl holding a baby, the posters read: "Talk to your daughter about alcohol now, before it starts making decisions for her.

"In a couple of years' time, your daughter could go to a party, drink too much alcohol and be pressured into having unsafe sex. Talk about it with her now and help her make the right choice. Why let drink decide?" 

John Leech, who has campaigned extensively on safer drinking in city centres and led the 'Ask for Angela' campaign in Manchester - an initiative which allows people feeling vulnerable on dates to 'Ask for Angela' at a bar in order to alert staff to their situation -has slammed the campaign as "thunderingly offensive."

John Leech said: "Whilst it's not advisable to drink to excess, it is never, ever, an excuse for someone to take advantage of a young girl - or anyone for that matter.

"This kind of thunderingly offensive and inane victim blaming takes Britain back about 60 years and is unimaginably counter-productive to tackling the real causes of sexual assault.

“These posters should be taken down and whoever signed them off should be held to serious account."

The posters are displayed in Sunderland, including in the central railway station.

Niall Hodson, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Sunderland City Council, added: “In their rush to denormalize and stigmatize alcohol use, Sunderland Council have needlessly targeted young women in a shockingly misogynist way. Suggesting to parents that if you don’t “help her make the right decisions” your daughter will be some kind of victim.

"If the Council want to encourage parents to talk with their children about alcohol that’s great, but there is no need for them to denigrate young women while they’re at it.”

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