Home Office launches teenage rape prevention campaign

Mar 05, 2012, 12:13 PM

A powerful new Home Office campaign asking teenagers to re-think their views of what constitutes rape and consent has been launched across the UK.

A third of teenage girls and 16 per cent of boys report that they have experienced some form of sexual violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend and NSPCC research shows that the highest proportion of sexual abuse (66 per cent) is committed by young people under the age of 18.

Evidence shows that while most teenagers know that rape is wrong, they don't always know what constitutes rape. Many think it’s violent attack on a stranger rather than something that could happen in their own relationships.

The campaign was launched on Monday, March 5, 2012 by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone and aims to challenge perceptions by putting the viewer at the centre of a disturbing scenario. It builds on the Government’s wider This is ABUSE campaign and is the first advertising campaign of its kind targeting teenagers.

The campaign includes TV, cinema and online advertising campaigns and has been launched in partnership with charities including the NSPCC, Rape Crisis and Survivors Trust.

The adverts are aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds and the clip above feature a teenage girl explaining how she was coerced into sex by a boy as a party went on downstairs. The girl says 'I don't want to', but the boy persists. A double of the boy then appears, watching the scene from behind an invisible wall. The viewer is asked, 'If you could see yourself, would you see rape?'. The adverts will run for a month on television channels popular with teenagers.

A survey of 16 to 20 year olds showed that 22 per cent thought that it was, or probably was, acceptable for a boy to expect to have sex with a girl if he has spent a lot of time and money on her. Twenty one per cent thought it was acceptable, or were unsure if it was acceptable or not, for a boy to expect to have sex with a girl if he thinks she has had sex with people before.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "This hard-hitting campaign shows that rape is not just about violent attacks by strangers.

"We want to bring this issue out into the open and get young people talking about the importance of consent.

"The campaign will give teenagers the facts and support they need to recognise abuse and form healthy relationships.”

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: "Teenagers are inundated with information about relationships, from their friends, the internet and TV. This campaign aims to dispel the myths that can lead to acceptance of rape in relationships.

“Bringing the issue out in the open will help teenagers feel confident about challenging abuse when they see it and ultimately protect potential victims.”

The adverts point teenagers towards a website designed specifically for them, where they can find information, seek help and share experiences with their peers.

The campaign, funded by the Home Office, is part of a long-term commitment to tackle violence and prevent future victims by challenging attitudes early.

#abuse #consent #rape #teenager