Police launch pioneering website to help victims of rape
A unique website to help victims of rape and sexual assault has been launched in Avon and Somerset in a bid encourage more victims to come forward.
The new site – www. rapeaware.org – is run by Avon and Somerset Police and aims to educate people about the crime as well as help people report offences.
In addition to information about who to contact, the care victims receive, and the investigation process, pages on the site also challenge common myths and stereotypes.
Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "Information is power. A big part of protecting yourself from becoming a victim or becoming a perpetrator, comes through awareness of what rape and sexual assault is, and what consent is.
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"Rape is a life-changing crime. While we are committed to providing excellent care, support and advocacy services for victims, we are equally and relentlessly committed to bringing its perpetrators to justice, it is clearly far better that such crimes never happen.
"By taking some common sense precautions, everyone can better protect themselves. This website gives its users the information they need to keep safe."
Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens is also supporting the new rape awareness website with Facebook and radio advertising throughout the festive and New Year period.
Ms Mountstevens said: "We know that rape and serious sexual assault remains seriously under-reported, with only 8% of victims thought to have reported it to the police.
"This means that far too many people are suffering in silence and the more we can do to make people aware of what help is out there and the range of voluntary services they can speak to the better."