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8 December, 2023

‘Just a Kiss’ anti-stalking film used to support students from York to Ukraine

Following a successful trial at Leeds Trinity University in November, students at Askham Bryan College in York have now been taken through the film during the college’s Safety Week.

In addition, third-year policing students in the city of Lviv, Ukraine, have also been shown the film as a key resource in their English-language training.

The film is already being successfully integrated into a course for Policing Students at Leeds Trinity University, and has proven to be an engaging and relevant tool in portraying how real-life cases of stalking and harassment can develop.

The film tells the story of Mia, a university student who finds herself the victim of stalking from a man she met on a night out. Just a Kiss was released to the public in October, and is available to watch on our official YouTube channel.

The film is broken down into nine short episodes freely available to view online, and follows the story of a young university fresher who, having met a man on a night out, becomes the victim of stalking.

Funded from a successful bid from the Home Office Safer Streets Fund, the film chronicles how stalking can quickly escalate and impact the lives of victims, displays the perspective of friends and family, and demonstrates how victim support services can help those in need.

At Askham Bryan College in York, students on the Uniformed Services course were asked to provide their views and analysis of the film as part of a class on Stalking and Harassment. Working with Associate Professor Jonathan Jackson and a member of the OPFCC team, they provided outstanding feedback and insight into the circumstances portrayed in the film.

Safety week at Askham Bryan College runs from 4th-7th December and focusses on all-things safety-related, from nights out to road safety and sexual health. The college has arranged guest speakers, workshops and in-person engagement events to ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and awareness they need to stay safe in daily life.

Askham Bryan College plan to continue to use the film beyond the conclusion of Safety Week, with students across campus being shown it as part of their introduction to college life.

Outside of North Yorkshire, members of the Ethical Support Alliance, working with Leeds Trinity University, visited Ukraine on Thursday 23rd November in order to deliver English support to Policing students of the Lviv State University of Internal Affairs.

In one of the sessions, the students were invited to view ‘Just a Kiss’, which has proved extremely useful as an integrated learning tool thanks to its depiction of how stalking and harassment can escalate. Each student was asked to list the learning points during the film and then gave presentations on their findings, all in English.

The generosity of the film’s producers was acknowledged by all at the university in Lviv and, thanks to its success, Leeds Trinity University is currently working to develop a similar project for Romanian police officers.

The film can still be viewed in full on our YouTube channel, and the OPFCC would like to encourage any other educational institutions interested in using the film free of charge to get in touch by emailing engagement@northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk. 

Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

“When we first commissioned ‘Just a Kiss’ from Rural Media, I wanted it to paint a realistic picture of the impact of stalking and harassment on victims, and help direct them to vital support services.

I have been delighted with the reception to the film, and its use in training future Police Officers in West Yorkshire, but to see it being used for Police Officer training in Ukraine is truly amazing. I had always hoped that the investments made by my office could have an impact outside of our region, but it’s a real testament to the hard work of both my OPFCC team and our external partners to see how far the film has reached.

Askham Bryan’s use of our film represents a fantastic example to educational institutions across York and North Yorkshire.” 

Lucy Saker, Head of Student Services and Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Askham Bryan College, said:

“We were delighted with the level of engagement shown by our students towards the film, which has proven to be an outstanding resource in raising awareness of stalking and harassment and directing people to support services.

We’ve set out a range of events for our yearly Safety Week, which is a crucial activity at an institution like ours with a large and diverse student body studying a huge range of practical subjects, and we look forward to making more use of the film in future.” 

Jonathan Jackson, Associate Professor of Policing at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“Associate Professor of Policing Jonathan Jackson said, ‘We recently used the Just a Kiss resource within our teaching for West Yorkshire Police Apprentices at Leeds Trinity University, which was hugely successful. The opportunity to show the film to colleagues in Ukraine was equally as powerful and demonstrates the importance of the project in providing awareness of stalking and harassment.”

Alliance director, David Lewis, former career police officer and former Head of Training at Durham Probationer Training Centre, said:

“These messages were extremely well received here, and the students and staff are very grateful indeed. To see each student photographing every page so they could all have their own personal message of support was both uplifting and inspiring. As are all the students and staff here. The focus and capacity for learning are exceptional by any global yardstick. It is an honour and a privilege to help them in their heroic endeavours, and we are eagerly looking forward to delivering a full programme of support from January 2024.”