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UK police release distressing rape video in bid to help sexual assault victims

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Susan Devaney
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A local police force has created a series of fictional videos involving sexual assault and rape in the hope it will help women to report it as soon as possible, and increase convictions. 

Leicestershire Police have created the videos as part of their All Is Not Lost campaign, after estimating that just a fifth of rapes are reported to them – and that just a tenth of these end in a conviction.

Perhaps more pertinent, though, is the fact that nearly half of rapists being related to their victims, according to the BBC. So, as a stark reminder that being in a relationship does not give anyone the automatic right to have sex if their partner is unwilling, one of the first videos to have been released (based on a testimony from a police interview) features a fictional story about a woman who’s been raped by her husband. 

In the clip, the woman can be seen deleting messages from her phone before her abusive husband arrives home. The police force want to address the vital importance of keeping evidence, and remembering the three-point message: “Don’t wash; preserve all available evidence; contact the police as soon as possible.”

You can watch the video below. However, do bear in mind that its graphic nature means that it would have been certificated as 18 if it had been shown in the cinema. 

This short film will be shown across social media channels, and further films are due to be release,d featuring interviews with up to six rape victims, as well as a video about the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).

“I thought the films were very powerful and were almost a fresh way of looking at some of the issues,” said Andrew Baxter, a deputy chief crown prosecutor for the East Midlands.

“I haven’t seen that before in many, many years of prosecuting and I felt very excited about that methodology used and the messages that are clearly going to be communicated.”

The timing couldn’t be more crucial: sexual assault and rape has been consistently talked about in recent weeks in light of allegations made against film producer Harvey Weinstein. More than 82 women have now accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and/or assault, according to a list compiled by actress Asia Argento (who has herself accused the producer of sexual assault). With fellow producer James Toback facing allegations too, along with fashion photographer Terry Richardson. The men all deny the allegations made.

If you have been affected by sexual harassment or assault, you can seek advice and support at Rape Crisis and Victim Support UK.

Images: Keenan Constance

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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