Devon and Cornwall Police are supporting the national teenage rape prevention campaign to raise awareness of rape and sexual violence amongst teenagers.
The aim of the Home Office campaign is to prevent teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse.
It is designed to encourage teenagers to re-think their views on rape, sexual assault, violence and abuse and direct them to places for help and advice.
The high profile campaign is supported by TV advertising that will run throughout December.
The campaign is supported by three different business cards with the slogans:
“It’s not like I forced her...” “I didn’t hit her or anything.”
“I’ve done it with her before...” “Why wouldn’t she want it again.”
“She said she didn’t want to...” “I don’t think she meant it.”
The business cards include a web link to the dedicated Home Office website www.direct.gov.uk/thisisabuse where teenagers can go to get further information and advice on these issues.
A parent advice booklet also supports the campaign with information on how to support teenagers and access help.
The campaign has three main aims to:
• Raise awareness of the issue of rape and sexual violence.
• Improve understanding of what constitutes rape, sexual assault and consent.
• Empower young people to avoid, challenge and report sexually violent behaviour.
It primarily targets girls and boys aged 13 to 18-years-old as research shows that experiences of sexual assault and pressure to have sex can start well before the age of 16.
But it is also aimed at teenagers aged 18 to 21-years-old to highlight the unacceptability of sexual violence and coercion.
Detective Inspector Andrea Kingdon, from Devon and Cornwall Police’s public protection unit, said: “The average age of a victim of rape or sexual assault is 16 so it is essential that we target this age group so that they feel confident to challenge and report sexually violent behaviour and avoid dangerous situations.
“The teenage years are generally when people start experimenting with sexual activity so it is important that they understand what constitutes rape and sexual assault, that consent is required and that it is illegal to have sex with someone under the age of 16.
“The age in which sexual advice is delivered to teenagers is a sensitive issue but it is essential that young people are equipped with the information that they need to keep themselves safe and that they know where to go for advice.”