A new social media campaign is being launched by Northants Police next week aimed at preventing sexual violence and challenging the attitudes and behaviours that lead to it.
Running from Monday, May 30 until Friday, June 3, daily messages will be posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #NoConsentNoSex
The campaign will primarily target young people – both potential victims and perpetrators - and seeks to help create an environment where sexual violence is not accepted but is prevented and challenged.
Superintendent Steve Lingley, Head of Safeguarding, said: “It is important for people to understand what consent is and that sex without consent is rape.
“Perpetrators also need to understand that if they cross the line we will take action.
“We are dedicated to helping anyone - male or female and whatever the circumstances – who may have been a victim of these crimes.”
Superintendent Lingley said police understand that reporting a rape or sexual assault is often an “extremely difficult thing to do”.
He said: “This is why we have a team of specially trained officers who can help and support victims throughout the entire process. These officers will investigate offences in a discreet and professional manner offering help, support and guidance from the time of reporting right through to the conclusion of an investigation.
“Perpetrators need to be aware that as well as a lengthy prison sentence and being placed on the sex offender register, a conviction for rape can place significant restrictions on career choices, severely affect job prospects and limit overseas travel. In other words, it’s life changing.”
Northamptonshire Rape Crisis Centre (NRC) is supporting the campaign.
NRC manager, Dawn Thomas, said: “Northamptonshire Rape Crisis is pleased to be working with Northamptonshire Police and partners on this campaign, we have 30 years experience of supporting survivors both male and female.
“Digital technologies have become a significant and completely integrated part of our daily lives we hope this on-line campaign will reach more survivors and their non-offending friends and family to seek support.”