Lincolnshire Police, working with partner agencies have launched a sexual violence and awareness campaign.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage victims to come forward to report rape and sexual crimes and reassure them that specialist services and support are available to them.
The slogan ‘No Means No!’ is intended to highlight what consent means in relation to rape and acknowledge that there is no place for sexual abuse in society. It points out that statistics show a stark link between alcohol and rape and hopes to encourage people to drink responsibly. However, a key issue for the campaign is to promote the fact that alcohol can never be used as an excuse for sexual violence.
The aims of the ‘No Means No!’ campaign are to:
- Develop education and awareness-raising on rape and sexual assault, particularly amongst children and young persons, with emphasis on consent issues.
- Spread awareness of the law amongst the public and in particular young people.
- Promote the fact that alcohol should not be used as an excuse for sexual violence.
- Raise awareness that excess alcohol can increase someone’s vulnerability, but offenders who take advantage of someone’s intoxication are still committing a serious offence.
- Continue to promote the services of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Spring Lodge.
- Promote the specialist trained Emerald Team and continue to increase confidence in the expertise of Lincolnshire Police to investigate rape and associated offences
- Work towards preventing teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of abusive relationships.
- Empower individuals, including men and boys, to play their part in tackling the issues.
- Encourage teenagers to re-think their views of rape, and sexual assault, and direct them to sources of help and advice.
The target group for the campaign is men and women under the age of 30. Data shows that experiences of sexual assault and pressure to have sex can start well before the lawful age of 16.
As well as aiming to reach this group, the campaign also targets parents and carers and directs them to information which helps to address the subject and support young people. Other agencies which come into contact with victims of sexual violence and who can direct them to appropriate services or organisations for help are also included.
In order to promote awareness among the target audience, the campaign will be taken into schools and other places where young people come together. A set of posters and pamphlets have been specially designed and ‘No Means No!’ wristbands have been produced for distribution.
Detective Inspector Sean Baxter
Detective Inspector Sean Baxter, who has been key in developing the campaign says, “We have already achieved a significant amount of progress in the area of rape and sexual assault, both in terms of the specialist services and support we offer and the positive effect this has had on victims coming forward to report crimes. The ‘No Means No!’ campaign builds on this and delivers a very simple message which we hope will instil in people from an early age the need to stay safe and give them the confidence to come forward if they do become victims. It also spells out the implications of committing these crimes for perpetrators and makes it absolutely clear that society and the law will not tolerate it.”
The following agencies and partners are working with Lincolnshire Police to support the ‘No Means No!’ campaign:
- NHS Lincolnshire
- Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Lincolnshire County Council
- Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust
- Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
- Victim Support
- Lincolnshire Community Health Service Sexual Health Service
- Lincolnshire Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service