A CAMPAIGN urging victims to report sexual crimes while reassuring them of the support available has been launched by local authorities and organisations.
The No Means No! campaign aims to educate young people about rape and assault, with emphasis on what consent means and the fact that alcohol is never an excuse for sexual violence.
Detective inspector Sean Baxter, who has been instrumental in developing the campaign said: “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 campaign will be targeted at men and women under the age of 30, while also informing parents and carers, enabling them to support young people.
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.
Campaign leaders from the police, county council and health organisations will be visiting schools and youth groups spreading their message and distributing posters, pamphlets and wristbands.