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‘Rape is Rape’ campaign launch

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rape is rape campaign, coventryDriving home the message that ‘sex without consent is rape’.

I was delighted to attend the launch of a fantastic new campaign in Coventry last week: a joint initiative between Coventry City Council and the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) that will focus on the needs of survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

The campaign, ‘Rape is Rape in any language’ consists of a powerful video (*trigger warning) and series of posters which will be used around Coventry.

The campaign has also been supported by Coventry Bears league team, which features in the video.

I wrote earlier this year last year about a dire anti-rape campaign being used by Warwickshire police, so it is wonderful to see Coventry leading the way with a really great example of how things should be done.

The campaign unequivocally places the responsibility for rape with the perpetrators, and directly challenges several of the victim blaming myths that abound.

Slogans on the posters include: “It’s never the victim’s fault. The only person responsible for rape or sexual abuse is the person who commits the crime” and “Just because I like to look good when I go out doesn’t mean I’m asking to be raped”.

As well as driving home the message that sex without consent is rape.

The launch was held at the UK’s only shop-front theatre, Theatre Absolute, in Coventry’s city centre.

Coventry’s – first female – Leader of the Council, Councillor Ann Lucas, who was present at the launch, said, “It is incredibly important that we raise awareness of what rape and sexual abuse really means, so that those who have been affected can come forward and receive the support they need.”

“I hope that the campaign and its incredibly powerful messages educate people on the scale of rape and sexual abuse, and what needs to be done to prevent it.”

In addition to the first showing of the new video, actors from the film read out case studies from several of the survivors CRASAC has worked with.

It was incredibly moving hearing these, and really brought home the huge importance of the service which CRASAC offers, as well as the need to make sure that victims know where they can turn for help when they need it.

I felt incredibly proud to be living in a city which is leading the way with its approach to tackling rape.

When we are so often confronted by messages bound up in rape culture which propagate old myths – see Warwickshire, West Mercia, South Wales and Thames Valley’s police departments for a handful of such examples – it is such a significant step forward for our Council to be working with an organisation such as CRASAC, and boldly challenging those inaccurate beliefs.

Alison Quigley, from Coventry City Council’s Community Safety Partnership, who worked on the campaign with CRASAC, made it clear that this is just the start of a much larger campaign.

In the future there are hopes to develop resources to accompany the DVD and the posters, and also to translate the video into some of the most common languages used in Coventry.

Dianne Whitfield, CRASAC’s Chief Officer, said: “This is the first ever campaign in Coventry that focuses on the victims and survivors and their needs.

“It is trying to talk directly to them as well as educate people who may not be aware of the dreadful trauma rape and sexual abuse causes.

“In that sense it is quite ground-breaking.

“I hope that people really get involved in the campaign, spreading the message that rape is rape in any language and is acceptable in none.”

The campaign can be followed on Twitter via the hashtag #rapeisrape

CRASAC’s helpline is open to women, men and children, their families and supporters on 02476 277777.

Opening times: Monday-Friday 10-2pm and Monday and Thursday 6pm-8pm.

  1. Cheryl says:

    How about this, “If she says No, and you still Go, it’s Rape.”

    You need a slogan. Saying rape is rape doesn’t mean anything. It’s like saying coffee is coffee, i.e. what’s your point. It really doesn’t send the message we want, which is that if she says no and you keep going, you’re raping her.

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