Campaign challenges rape myths

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Campaign challenges rape myths

One of the posters which is part of the Isle of Wight campaign.

A NEW hard-hitting poster campaign has been launched to raise awareness about rape and challenge myths — it doesn't matter what a victim is wearing or how much they have had to drink, sex without consent is rape.

The images reflect the fact most rapes and sexual assaults are committed within relationships by perpetrators aged between 16 and 25.

One myth the campaign seeks to challenge is that rapes are committed by strangers in dark alleys, when the reality is most victims are raped by someone they know, including spouses and partners.

Fleur Gardiner, Isle of Wight Council domestic abuse coordinator, said: "No matter how someone dresses, how much they have drunk, or what their relationship is to the perpetrator, sex without consent is rape and rape is never the victim’s fault.

"Rape is an emotive topic and one many people will have an opinion on but there is still a lot of misunderstanding around rape and the nature of consent within our society. This is why it is so important to raise awareness of these issues through this campaign.’’

Last year, 146 rapes and sexual offences, including historic offences, were reported to Isle of Wight police. In reality, it is likely many more crimes were committed but were not reported because victims were afraid they would be blamed, a council spokeswoman said.

It is hoped the campaign will give victims more confidence seek help and report rape.

Isle of Wight Council executive member for public protection Cllr Phil Jordan said: "There are no 'grey areas' when it comes to rape — for example, if you think someone might be too drunk to consent to sex, don’t have sex. If you do, and consent was not given, it is rape.

"These posters have been carefully designed to target key audiences and get people talking about a subject often swept under the carpet."

Help and support for men and women is available from the following organisations:

Isle of Wight Independent Sexual Violence Adviser: 07930 932249

Treetops Sexual Assault Referral Centre: 023 9221 0352

Southampton Rape Crisis: 023 8063 6313

Hampshire Constabulary: 0845 045 45 45 or 101, or 999 in an emergency

Island Women’s Refuge and Outreach Services: (01983) 825981


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by Peter Jeffery

18th July 2014, at 22:37:04

Can I wish this campaign all the best to change the public perception.

However, reading the only two posts on here, let me just share some general views from Policing in the 80's and 90's, and of course the Judiciary of the period.

'She dressed like she was asking for it'
'She was too drunk to say no'
'They are not the sort of family to abuse children'
'But he's a pillar of the community'

Now this was a time when attending a 'domestic' was dreaded, and at best was dealt with by getting the woman to get out to somewhere safe.

Quite rightly, now it is arrest, and then proceed with the victim at home.

If all we can come up with is the two comments below, then we have learned nothing from Saville, Harris and co.

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by Caro Neill

17th July 2014, at 14:25:00

so, if a man and a woman are BOTH equally drunk and end up having sex - who raped who? Bet you a pound to a pinch that the woman will be perceived as "the victim".

Sorry but i do not buy into this. If you want to remain in control of your actions and how others treat you, dont get falling over drunk, wear more than your birthday suit for an evening out and have a little bit of self respect.

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by david wright

17th July 2014, at 10:57:13

Rape is a terrible crime never to be belittled but can I add it also needs to be publised after the two recent cases of women being convicted crying rape is also a very serious crime with serious consequences.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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