Herts Police launch Christmas rape awareness campaign
RAPE – short word, long sentence. This was the powerful message from Herts Police when it launched its Christmas Rape Prevention campaign. The initiative, which will run throughout December, will see hard-hitting posters put up in washrooms in pubs, clubs
RAPE - short word, long sentence.
This was the powerful message from Herts Police when it launched its Christmas Rape Prevention campaign.
The initiative, which will run throughout December, will see hard-hitting posters put up in washrooms in pubs, clubs and shopping malls across the county.
The posters seek to remind women that saying yes to a drink does not mean they have consented to sex.
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Another design gives a stark warning of the consequences for men who go out drinking and deliberately sexually assault a woman.
Radio commercials promoting the campaign are also being broadcast all this week.
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The initiative is being co-ordinated by the county's rape prevention board which includes the police and county council.
Board chairman Supt Andy McCracken described rape as a "serious" crime and confirmed it carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
He also said that the majority of rapes reported in Herts involved acquaintances rather than, "people in balaclavas jumping out from behind bushes".
Supt McCracken went on: "We want everyone to enjoy their Christmas celebrations but we are asking those who go out to take care and not put themselves in situations that they may regret.
"Equally, there will be situations where men in particular, usually through drink, can misread signals from women and find themselves on the very wrong side of the law."
He added: "Being drunk is not a defence for assaulting a woman and the consequences can carry a 'life-time' sentence.
"Equally women have the right to say yes to a drink and no to sex and there needs to be a wider understanding about this.