Staffordshire Police urge rape victims to come forward

Staffordshire Police logo

Staffordshire Police logo

Victims of rape in Lichfield and Burntwood are being reassured that they will receive the best possible service when they contact Staffordshire Police.

They are being encouraged to come forward as part of National Rape Awareness Week, which starts today (November 30th).

The week aims to educate people about personal safety, raise awareness about the need to get consent for sex and help increase the number of rape survivors who are prepared to take a case to court.

A poster campaign, radio advertising and Bluetooth messaging will be used to get the point across this week.

Staffordshire Police has dozens of officers, across the force area, who are specially trained to deal with rape and sexual assault victims.

The force’s lead for Rape Awareness Week, Detective Superintendent Dave Garrett, said:

“Rape is a very serious offence which has a devastating impact on victims. Women are often reluctant to report a rape, so we’ve been looking at ways to improve how we treat victims who do come forward. One of the first people a victim will see will be a specially-trained officer who can offer support and guidance.

“Stranger rape is very rare, with victims almost always knowing their attackers. Nationally, the largest number of victims and offenders are aged between 16 and 25. However, in Staffordshire, we’ve found that victims are typically younger and more likely to be in the 15 to 20 age group.

“Alcohol plays a big part in a large number of rape complaints. One of the messages we want to get across to men is that consent to sex must be given. If a woman is drunk she’s not in a state to give consent, and sex without consent is rape.”

And Det Supt Garrett is urging male victims to come forward as well.

He added:

“Although the majority of rape victims are female, men are also victims and we’re just as keen to encourage them to come forward.

“As well as running a media campaign this week, we’ve added a rape advice page to the force website. Ideally we would like victims to report rape but, if they feel they can’t, then we at least want them to know that there is help and support available.”

For more details visit www.staffordshire.police.uk/rape.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.