Stitches Shawn Mendes
Hampshire Police are trying to stop a rise in sex attacks this summer with a week-long awareness campaign.
The week-long campaign led by Hampshire Constabulary and supported by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Rape Crisis and the region's Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Treetops), seeks to reinforce important messages about personal safety and how to prevent becoming a victim of sexual assault, promote the services of local support agencies and encourage victims to report sexual assaults to the police.
Analysis of sexual assault cases indicates there is often an increase in reports of assaults during the summer months, possibly the result of lighter evenings encouraging people to stay out drinking for longer or the increasing number of young people socialising during the summer break.
As part its Rape Awareness Week launched today Hampshire Constabulary has released a video of a rape victim giving a moving account of what life has been like since the assault in 2009.
The victim, who wanted to remain anonymous, explains candidly in the interview what day-to-day life has been like following a stranger rape two and a half years ago.
In September 2009 the victim, on a night out in Southampton, had her drink spiked. Having lost all concept of what was going on around her, the victim was led out of the venue by the perpetrator and was raped and left unconscious in a park:
Hampshire Constabulary is also seeing an increasing trend in reports of rapes involving people who know each other. Almost half of all rapes reported to the force are acquaintance rapes.
Consent is one of the biggest issues in reported incidents of rape and sexual assault. And alcohol and/or drugs play a large part, impacting individual's judgement and ability to make rational decisions, both on the part of the victim and the perpetrator.
Detective Inspector Ben Snuggs said, "We, along with our partners, want to raise awareness of the current issues of rape and sexual assault and provide people with the information to help prevent them from becoming a victim, encourage those who have been sexually assaulted to report it andgive details of where to go for help and support.
"At all times the campaign seeks to reassure victims that anyone who reports a sexual assault will be treated with dignity and respect and that all reports are taken very seriously and dealt with in a sensitive, professional and non-judgemental way."
Each day the campaign will focus on a different aspect of the investigation and prevention of sexual assaults from a police perspective as well as the partners they work very closely with.