Police launch rape and serious sexual assault awareness campaign

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary is launching a month-long rape and serious sexual assault awareness campaign starting on January 4.

The campaign will highlight the issues around understanding consent and the importance and encouragement of reporting assaults. Each week will explore a separate theme.

The theme for week one is: ‘consent’. Many people do not understand what consent is and believe the absence of a ‘no’ is consent.

Things like inability to consent through intoxication or coercing people into committing sexual acts is not consent and police will deliver this message during week one.

Week two aims to educate people of the services available to them after they have been a victim of rape or sexual assault. Specifically to increase awareness of the Oasis at Rivergate in Peterborough - Cambridgeshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).

Week three of the campaign will aim to bust the myths associated with rape, including who victims are and how they are treated.

The final week of the campaign will focus on historical rape, informing people of the support available and action that can be taken against historical assaults. Educating people that it does not matter who it is or when it happened, sex without consent is rape.

Detective Inspector Leigh Allman, Rape Investigation Team (RIT) Manager, said: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary, in conjunction with partner agencies, is absolutely committed to tackling rape and serious sexual assaults and providing support to victims and catching perpetrators.

“The first week of the campaign highlights that rape is not contained to stranger rape scenarios, and that sometimes there is confusion over the consent issue between people who know each other.

“We want to deliver the clear message that ‘only yes means yes’ anything else is no, and sex without consent [yes] is rape.

“We are aware that many victims are worried they won’t be believed or they don’t remember what happened, however anybody with concerns should call us. We take rape and serious sexual assault very seriously and rape will never be acceptable.”

Additional support numbers

The Oasis at Rivergate

0845 089 6262

www.oasiscentre.org

Providing a comprehensive service to men, women, young people and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted recently or in the past.

Rape Crisis

01223 313551

www.rapecrisis.co.uk

Offers a range of support, advocacy, counselling and information in a women-only safe space. They also provide support services to men and boys but these are delivered separately from the provision for women and girls.

Victim Support

0845 30 30 900

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales.

Childline

0800 11 11

www.childline.org.uk

A private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19.