Suffolk: Police step up campaign against rape and sexual violence in build-up to Christmas

Offenders are targeted in rape awareness campaign

A CAMPAIGN aimed at raising awareness of rape and sexual violence in Suffolk is stepping up in the build-up to the Christmas festivities.

The Time to Stop initiative was launched in the summer as a joint campaign between Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies with a main focus on victim support and safety advice.

But the focus will now be on sending out a strong message to anyone thinking about committing such offences or any males who may find themselves falling foul of the law without realising it.

To support the latest leg of the campaign a number of mirror stickers have been created to be displayed in male toilets in pubs and clubs across Norfolk and Suffolk.


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Carrying the message ‘Sex without consent is rape’, each sticker will show the onlooker behind bars to serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of their potential actions.

Beer mats and posters with tips and advice on where to seek help including at the region’s Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) have also been created for use in pubs and clubs.

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Detective Inspector Tonya Antonis, who heads Suffolk Constabulary’s Gemini Team, said: “Rape is rape and there are no excuses; there is no grey area.

“Men need to understand that if a woman says no or is incapable of consenting, for instance through drink or drugs, they are committing a criminal offence. If there is any doubt, the likelihood is that you are committing rape and therefore hold yourself up to being arrested, convicted in a court of law and potentially placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

“Don’t let your festive night out turn into a life sentence.”

The Time to Stop campaign is particularly aimed at young women and men aged 17 to 24.

In line with national trends, reported serious sexual offences in Suffolk and Norfolk have shown year-on-year increases since 2009, with rape accounting for 40% of all cases.

In Suffolk, there were 373 serious sexual offences recorded between April 1 and November 30, 2012, of which 138 were rapes. In the case of the rape offences, 124 victims were female and 14 male.

Most rape offences are reported between 8pm and 3am and occur from Friday to Sunday.

Further information about rape and sexual violence and details of local services available for victims can be found at www.suffolk.police.uk/timetostop

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