Sussex Police are supporting the second annual National Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which runs starts today (6 February).
Organisers are hoping to spread the message that any form of sexual abuse and sexual violence is unacceptable.
The week aims to generate discussion among the general public, statutory bodies and third sector organisations about how sexual abuse and sexual violence is not ok, it aims to empower victims and send out a clear message that the UK collectively will be saying ‘It’s Not Ok’.
All the activity, discussion points and activities can be followed on social media via the hashtag #ItsNotOk.
National organiser Yehudis Goldsobel said, “We need to put this topic at the forefront of the national conversation and not be afraid of it. Only then can we address prevention and change.
“Anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence needs to know they are not alone and that action is being taken.
“We also want perpetrators to know it will not be tolerated and we will all speak up about it – the shame lies only with them. All forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are totally unacceptable and we want to get this message across.”
Detective Superintendent Jason Tingley, Head of Public Protection for Sussex Police, whose officers and staff are responsible for investigating sexual abuse and violence, said, “In support of this project, on each day this week a blog on sexual consent and rape will be posted on the ‘Club Amba’ website in support of the national awareness week.
“The Club Amba project is an online campaign that aims to make it clear that sex without consent is rape – and that rape is absolutely the responsibility of the perpetrator. I’d encourage everyone to get involved in the conversation on the blog and help raise awareness that sexual abuse and violence is not ok.”
The Club Amba project is part of a current Sussex Police initiative aimed at encouraging young people to get involved in a conversation about sexual consent and rape. The online campaign aims to make it clear that sex without consent is rape – and that rape is absolutely the responsibility of the perpetrator.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said, “Talking about sexual abuse and sexual violence is always difficult so I fully support this drive to stand by victims and say ‘It’s Not Ok’. It is vital that we as a country talk about sexual abuse and sexual violence, make sure victims know that they are not alone and ensure perpetrators understand that it will not be tolerated.
“I have developed the Safe Space Sussex website for all victims and witnesses of crime in Sussex. It offers direct access to help and support through an online directory of local specialist services. The site also provides information about different types of crime and what happens at each stage of the criminal justice system, helping to ‘demystify’ the process for people when they may be at their most vulnerable.”