WeHo targets sexual assault with quips about consent

The City of West Hollywood is working to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent with its “Only Yes Means Yes” campaign. First launched in 2016, the #onlyYes campaign is being expanded with additional focused outreach, graphics, and messaging in and around nightlife establishments.

“The safety of our residents, workers and visitors is a priority for our City which is why we have revitalized the #onlyYes campaign as one of our tools to ensure that people who live, work, and play in West Hollywood are safe,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. “This campaign communicates that consent under the law must be affirmative, unambiguous, and a conscious decision by all parties involved in sexual activity. Only Yes Means Yes. Period.” 

“Holiday season fun begins with consent” said Councilmember John D’Amico. “#onlyYes means yes every time.”

The Only Yes Means Yes campaign uses graphics inspired by roadway directional signage to deliver serious messages about the importance of consent. There are four key messages:

  • My Caress Does Not Mean Yes
  • Just Because I’m Flirty Doesn’t Mean I’m Ready
  • Get Consent at Every Step
  • Consensual is Sensual

On Thursday, December 16, 2021, the City of West Hollywood will begin distribution of #onlyYes campaign drink coasters at bars, restaurants, and nightlife establishments. The Only Yes Means Yes campaign includes outdoor digital public service advertising on selected outdoor digital billboards, on digital panels in transit shelters located throughout the City at major corridors and intersections, #onlyYes sidewalk decals located in the City’s LGBTQ Rainbow District, and #onlyYes “selfie” walls on N. Robertson Boulevard, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, where community members and visitors can take photos of themselves with #onlyYes campaign messages for social media posts.

In 2022, the Only Yes Means Yes campaign will incorporate continued community and social media engagement in recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, V-Day, the City of West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference, Women’s Equality Day, National Night Out, Pride, and Halloween.

Community members are encouraged to amplify the effort with the hashtag #onlyYes. The campaign aims to foster greater awareness and engagement, and to empower community members to play an active role in sexual assault prevention by educating themselves and sharing the vitally important message of consent.

The City of West Hollywood is home to a large number of entertainment-oriented businesses, such as restaurants, lounges, bars, and nightclubs; there are more than 200 establishments in the City. The City of West Hollywood has several initiatives in place to assist in creating and maintaining a safe environment in nightlife establishments.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) is a team of Sheriff’s Deputies who are primarily focused on entertainment- and alcohol-related law enforcement issues in the City. On a nightly basis, the EPT actively patrols approximately 60 bars, nightclubs, and hotels and liaises with management of nightlife establishments to build and maintain cooperative working relationships and to stay informed and address concerns.

Additionally, the City’s Code Compliance Division is developing an expanded mandatory alcohol-server training program for personnel in the City’s bars, lounges, and clubs that will aim to curb harm related to overuse of alcohol. To be launched in 2022, this will also feature a related education effort to promote expanded customer awareness, safety, and security in bars, lounges, and clubs.

The City and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station urge anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime – or anyone in the community with any public safety concerns – to reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.

The City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety website area provides personal safety tips for nightlife safety and sexual assault prevention and resources; please visit: www.weho.org/services/public-safety/crime-prevention-and-personal-safety-tips/sexual-assault-prevention-night-club-safety.

For more information about the Only Yes Means Yes campaign, please contact Larissa Fooks, Community Programs Coordinator in the City of West Hollywood’s Community & Legislative Affairs Division, at (323) 848-6413 or at lfooks@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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1 year ago

This is so timely! Our County’s chief prosecutor plans to give juveniles “restorative justice” for a variety of felony level crimes such as sexual battery.

Called the REDY pathway: Resrorative Enhanced Diversion for Youth.

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