The States of Jersey Police are today launching a new campaign to help victims of sexual violence and change perceptions about rape.
The campaign is titled "Ask. Listen. Respect and is two-pronged.
The first part is aimed at better informing the public that sex without consent is rape and in 90% of sexual offences the suspect is known to the victim. We want to urge the public to abandon the belief that you are only a rapist if you lurk up a dark alley.
The second part of the initiative is aimed at victims and encouraging them to come forward to report rape and sexual crimes and reassure them that specialist support and services are available to them.
And for the first time in Jersey victims can give detailed information directly to police anonymously, which means although officers cannot pursue an investigation they can build up a picture of these crimes across the island.
This will be done through a dedicated website which has been built for the campaign.
The slogan "Ask. Listen. Respect is intended to highlight the importance of considering what consent is in relation to rape and acknowledge that there is no place for sexual abuse in society.
The campaign aims to “
Educate islanders on rape and sexual assault, particularly amongst children and young people, with emphasis on consent, through a media and poster campaign
Spread awareness of the law
Raise awareness that excess alcohol can increase someone's vulnerability, but offenders who take advantage of someone's intoxication are still committing a serious offence
Promote the work that the police and other agencies do with victims of sexual violence
Help victims understand the process of reporting and investigating such a crime
Encourage people to re-think their views on rape and sexual assault
A new website will be launched which give people all this information, as well as direct them towards agencies that can help.
The campaign, which will fall under the police title Operation Amber, will be co-ordinated by two CID officers who will work with specialist trained Sexual Offence Liaison Officers (SOLOs) to help victims.
Detective Chief Inspector Alison Fossey said: "One of our main priorities is to encourage victims of sexual violence to come forward and provide as much reassurance as we can. Victims of rape & serious sexual assault understandably are often traumatised & unsure as to what they need to do or what support is available to them. This campaign & support mechanisms aim to ensure the best possible advice, guidance & support is available.
"We need to have a major cultural shift when it comes to sexual crime, often the onus is put on the women to not walk home alone or not to drink too much, and while this is still good safety advice, we want to get the message to everyone that sex without consent is rape.