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"Just Got Weird" ad campaign aimed at students

"What's with all this groping at this frosh party? Am I wearing a sign that says grab me?"

That's one example of the new #JustGotWeird advertising campaign on OC Transpo buses spearheaded by the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women and the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre.

The goal is to get people to rethink the role of a bystander, and get involved if they notice something out of the ordinary, especially when it comes to potential sexual violence.

Tara Henderson, with the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, admitted that can go against societal norms of feeling compelled to mind one's own business.

"I think a lot of people have this self-talk in their heads that says 'I don't want to interfere, it's not my business, who am I to interfere?"

She referenced several examples, like seeing someone at a bar, severely intoxicated, who is being pursued aggressively.

But, she argued there are ways to see if the person is OK, even if it's a stranger.

"It's more about just checking in with someone. Did you want to go with this person? Do you know this person? Do you want to come in the cab with my friend and I?"

She added the timing of the campaign is not a coincidence, noting tens of thousands of post-secondary students are returning to school and the first few weeks often include heavy alcoholic consumption.

More information can be found at justgotweird.com or via the app R.I.S.E.

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