‘No excuses’ for sex offenders
The campaign, called ‘No excuses‘, aims to highlight the consequences of rape and sexual assault for offenders as well as encourage victims to report crimes.
Posters displayed in pubs, clubs and on public transport will demonstrate what constitutes sexual assault.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Hyde stressed that all too often offenders are not aware of what constitutes consent:
“They think because their victim doesn’t say no or doesn’t physically try to resist the attack, that they are therefore consenting to sex, but that is absolutely no excuse”.
Hyde elaborates on the West Midlands Police website that the posters will show that sexual offenders can expect to receive “lengthy prison sentences, a restriction on future job opportunities and overseas travel, as well as the shame of friends and family discovering that you’re a sex offender”.
West Midlands Police said that about 40 sexual offences are reported to them each week. It is estimated that real number of sex offences is much higher.
The launch of the campaign comes at time when there is normally an increase in cases as nights become darker, students return to university and the Christmas party season commences.
Earlier this year, another Midlands police force, West Mercia, were forced to remove campaign posters that suggested drunk women are to blame for being raped.
One of the straplines said: “Don’t leave yourself more vulnerable to regretful sex or even rape. Drink sensibly and get home safely”.
‘No excuses’ does seem to go some way to shifting the blame from victims to perpetrators. But the suggestion, given on one of the posters, that offenders will be deterred from raping or sexually assaulting women by losing the prospect of “overseas travel” shows the police are still not adequately conveying that rape is a heinous crime that not only destroys the lives of women but damages society as a whole.