Marketing material will be appearing in pubs and clubs this Christmas

7 December 2012

A cross-county campaign aimed at raising awareness of rape and sexual violence in Norfolk is to zone in on the offender in the build up to the Christmas festivities.

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

But with the celebrations kick-starting 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.

Leading with 'Would you?', the creatives have been designed to urge clubbers to question their actions and judgements on a night out.

Detective Inspector Ross McDermott, who heads Norfolk Constabulary's Rape Unit, 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."

"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."

DI Ross McDermott

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

Strap-lined 'Sex without consent is rape' each sticker will show the onlooker behind bars and serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of their potential actions.

The beer mats and posters which will also include advice on where to seek help including at the regions' Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCS) have been created for use in pubs and clubs.

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies have once again teamed up with the regional station KISS to send out crucial messages about the dangers of becoming victims or offenders of such crimes.

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 Norfolk and Suffolk have shown year on year increases since 2009 - with rape accounting for 40% of all cases.

In Norfolk there were 228 Serious Sexual Offences* and 157 rapes recorded between 1st April and 30th November 2012. In the case of the rape offences 142 victims were female and 15 male.

A break-down of rape offences for the same period for each district in Norfolk is as follows:

  • Kings Lynn & West Norfolk – 19
  • Breckland – 14
  • North Norfolk – 13
  • South Norfolk – 15
  • Broadland – 10
  • Norwich City Council – 51
  • Great Yarmouth - 35

A short film entitled ‘Look what you did’ was also created in support of the initiative and is still available on both constabularies’ YouTube channels alongside a 'behind the scenes' feature.

The local campaign comes as the Home Office re-launches its own rape teenage campaign.

Det Insp McDermott, added: "The majority of rapes are committed by someone who knows the victim and people can get into situations they never intended to and suddenly become very vulnerable.

“Too often our officers will see young women who are the worse for wear through drink and who have either wandered off or been abandoned by their friends on a night out.

“Look after yourself and your friends when you are out and always organise safe transport home."

Key trends for rape offences:

  • Most reported between 8pm and 3am (in hours of darkness)
  • Most incidents occur Friday – Sunday
  • Alcohol increases vulnerability
Look what you did

Have you watched the emotive short film 'Look what you did'?