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Police post campaign to help rape victims

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All Is Not Lost, short films, police campaign, rape, prosecution, myths, SARC, help, Leicestershire PoliceIt is hoped that the campaign will help increase the number of successful prosecutions of rape cases in court.

The first element of a major campaign being rolled out in the coming weeks aimed at increasing the number of successful prosecutions against those commit serious sexual assault was launched on 30 October.

When developing the campaign, extensive work was undertaken to examine the reasons why victims are reluctant to report, and the various problems associated with securing successful outcomes in court.

‘All is not Lost’ was produced by Leicestershire Police.

One of the short films shows the implications that the loss of evidence can have on attempts to bring the offender to justice.

A second short film shows the events leading up to the rape and assesses people’s prejudices and misconceptions, will be posted on line at a later date.

Although not graphic in content, the first film begins with a rape scene and has been classified as an 18 by the British Board of Film certification. The second film has been classified as a 15 certificate. Both films carry a warning for viewers at the start.

As well as these two films, the campaign features a series of short videos recorded by a number of victims of rape in the area covered by the force in recent years.

In those films, each victim explains what happened to them and encourages others who are attacked to come forward.

The campaign also features a short film about the county’s sexual assault referral centre, SARC, outlining how the staff there will help a rape victim, whether she goes to the police or not.

That is available for you to view here.

The campaign aims to raise greater awareness of rape as a crime, to encourage those who have been a victim to report early and to retain evidence, and to dispel myths and preconceptions around victims and perpetrators.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the campaign, which has been in development for a year, will help increase the number of successful prosecutions of rape cases in court.

Prosecutors back the ‘All is not Lost’ campaign.

Andrew Baxter, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS East Midlands, said: “This campaign and these hard-hitting films have rightly raised the issue of sexual violence, which I very much welcome.

“It is important that we are able to speak openly about sexual violence and the issues raised in this campaign.

“Prosecuting rape cases often comes with particular challenges. In many cases, the offence takes place in private, away from any witnesses and the issue to contest is whether the victim consented or not.

“A prosecution for rape will focus on the actions of the defendant and not any myths and stereotypes that surround sexual offending, such as what the victim was wearing or how they appeared to be behaving.

“Sexual activity without consent is a crime,” Baxter continued.

“I would urge victims to come forward and tell the police exactly what has happened.

“Regardless of how long ago an incident took place, whilst we cannot guarantee to charge every allegation of rape, we can promise that we will take the allegation seriously and the victim will be provided with as much support as possible.”

Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham, who is leading the campaign, said: “This campaign is about rape, about victims, and about perceptions.

“But it’s also about change – the change in mindset that is required to challenge misconceptions, and to look beyond what we think we know.

“I hope it sparks debate about all the various issues it raises. I hope it empowers victims, and enables us and our CPS colleagues to help them to get justice.

“I also hope that it will make the public think twice about their views, assumptions, and possibly unconscious prejudices.”

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