New campaign launched in Cumbria raising awareness around rape and serious offences

A new campaign has been launched raising awareness around rape and serious sexual offences in Cumbria.

Cumbria Police, University of Cumbria and their students’ union are behind the 'Your Choice' campaign.

The focus of the campaign is to educate young adults on issues around rape and serious sexual offences.

It will also let them know what support services can be accessed should anyone find themselves affected.

Support services can be accessed 24/7 regardless of whether a crime has just been committed or is historic.

The content of the programme explores the following topics:

  • Rape and sexual assault offences

  • What is consent

  • How to access local rape and sexual assault victim support services

The campaign content will feature on the University of Cumbria's intranet pages, screensavers and E-newsletter, with posters being put up across campuses.

The constabulary will also be attending Welcome Week events at the University to raise awareness.

The campaign poster and content is also available for any business that wishes to support the campaign - with multiple nighttime economy venues and higher education establishments already showing support.

Figures between January 1st 2021 and September 2nd 2021 of reported incidents of rape and serious sexual offences in Cumbria:

  • 175 rape crimes

  •  224 other sexual offences

  • 78 N100 reports

What are N100 reports?

What are N100 reports?

N100 ensures that all reported incidents of rape or attempted rapes, whether from victims, witnesses or third parties which are not immediately recorded as a confirmed crime must be recorded under this classification at the time the report is initially made to the relevant force.

This includes reports made by third parties, through partnership working or from other agencies.

Detective Chief Inspector Vicki Coombes said: "We are focusing this campaign on young adults, as we have received feedback from that age group, that confidence in reporting a crime and accessing support services could be improved.

"Feedback also suggests that some 18-25-year-olds are not sure what happened to them due to myths around consent.

The Detective Chief Inspector added: "Consent needs to be given knowingly, fully and freely, every time. If someone is scared, intimidated, or intoxicated through drink or drugs then consent often can't be given."

Molly Mcconnell, Welfare Officer, University of Cumbria Students' Union (UCSU) said: "It's vital to promote and discuss the issue of consent, and to signpost access to support and resources, especially for people moving home, starting a new challenge at university and navigating new relationships."

If you have experienced a sexual assault, whether as an adult or a young person, it is important to remember that it wasn't your fault. Don't be afraid to seek help.

For survivors of a serious sexual assault or rape, seeking help can be a difficult decision to make.

Here's a list of support services that are available:

Bridgeway provide coordinated, forensic, counselling and aftercare services to men, women and children living in Cumbria who have experienced rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent.

Telephone: 0808 118 6432

Safeline specialised charity working to prevent sexual abuse and to support those affected in their recovery. They provide a comprehensive range of services for people affected by sexual abuse.

Safeline National Male Survivor Helpline: 0808 800 5005

Offers various services in the one place including forensic examinations; testing for infections; support and counselling. It can also store forensic samples to give you time to decide whether or not to involve the police.

Telephone: 0141 211 8175

Support for anyone affected by rape or sexual violence. They can also put you in touch with your nearest local service.

Call our helpline : 08088 01 03 02

The Trust offer one to one weekly counselling sessions to male and females of all ages who have experienced rape and/or sexual abuse in South Cumbria and North Lancashire.

Contact here: 01229 820828

The NSPCC provide therapeutic services to help children move on from abuse, as well as supporting parents and families in caring for their children. They also help to make the right decisions for children and young people as well as educate communities on how to look out for child abuse.

Helpline: 0808 800 5000

18 or under? Call 0800 1111

National helpline for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, their families and friends. Provides emotional and practical support.

National Helpline:  0808 802 9999

Rape Crisis offers confidential emotional support, information and referral details for rape and sexual assault survivors.

National Telephone Helpline: 0808 802 9999

The Trust work with victims and survivors of all ages, all genders, of all forms of sexual violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, including support for partners and family members. 

Free helpline: 08088 010818