LANCASHIRE Police and partners have launched a campaign to raise awareness about rape and educate young men about the law.
The initiative challenges men to think about their actions and drives home the message that sex without consent is rape.
The month-long We Can Stop it campaign features posters, adverts and social media activity and will run across the county on the run up to the busy festive period, when more people will be out socialising and when police see a rise in reports of rape.
Superintendent Andrew Murphy, Head of Public Protection Operations, said: “Rape is a devastating crime which has a profound effect on victims and their families.
“We deal with reports of rape across the county every day; and while there are many myths surrounding rape and sexual assault, this crime is rarely committed by a complete stranger.
“The majority of cases we deal with involve offences committed by someone known to the victim, whether they have met that day or have known each other for longer.
“There are a wide range of circumstances around each case – but the common factor is that where there is no consent, it is rape.
“I welcome this positive campaign which speaks directly to men encouraging them not only to think about their own responsibilities but also challenge the behaviour of others.
“The campaign is being funded by money seized from criminals in Lancashire and is supported by our partners who we work with to ensure victims have access to the assistance they need and that offenders are brought to justice.”
The posters feature statements from both heterosexual and homosexual men such as “I listen when a girl says no. Do you?”, “I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t have sex with a girl when she’s too drunk. Are you?” and “I listen when a guy says no. Do you?”
The campaign also aims to highlight that earlier reporting increases the chances of offenders being traced, boosting the confidence of anyone who thinks they have been the victim of a crime.
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said: “Rape is an abhorrent crime which has a long-lasting and devastating impact on victims.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I have supported the establishment of Lancashire’s specialist rape support centre – Trust House Lancashire – and am committed to ensuring those people who are victims receive the support they need to rebuild their lives and come to terms with their experiences.
“But ultimately, what I want is for no one to have to go through the ordeal of rape – and that is why this campaign is so important. It encourages young men to think twice about their behaviour and ensure they behave responsibly. If there is no consent, it is rape – no excuses.”
For more information about the campaign visit: www.lancashire.police.uk/wecanstopit.
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