"No means no" and at this time of the year, sexual assaults and rapes are characteristically higher than at any other time. Cheshire Police are ensuring potential offenders are clear about the law relating to rape and how consent is key to having any sexual relationship or encounter with another person. All cases of rape and sexual assault will be investigated and anyone who commits rape which is such a distressing act cannot expect to offer any appalling excuses for their actions as the law is quite clear!
One of the myths Cheshire Police are trying to dispel about rape and sexual assault relates to where rapes are most likely to happen and who are the perpetrators. It is often perceived as an offence that takes place in open or desolate areas and involves the victim being approached by a stranger. This scenario cannot be further from the truth, the majority of rapes happen in the home, either the victims or the offender’s home and the people involved know each other.
These vile sexual acts scar for life many victims and many victims are constantly being subjected to forced sexual acts without the offender showing any signs of remorse or guilt.
Cheshire Police continue their campaign to reduce the number of rapes by making sure that their message reaches men between the ages of 30 and 50. Having looked at offences committed over the last few years, Cheshire Police have found the biggest group of offenders committing rape are men who fall within this age group. With the launch of ‘rape shatters lives, there is no excuse’ campaign by Cheshire Police, there will be no excuse for offenders who indulge in such selfish and abhorrent acts.
Cheshire Police are asking everyone to answer this question - ′have you ever tried to take things further without mutual consent? ′
The message is clear as one Cheshire Police spokesperson states, "Do not think that you can get away with sex without having the consent of the other person, Cheshire Police will put offenders before the courts as victims deserve to be heard and live their life free from fear of being forced to have sex. Everyone has the right to say no to sex."
Cheshire Police recently dealt with an offender who was sentenced to six years imprisonment. The local Cheshire man had been for a night out in Liverpool with a group of friends. At the end of the night, they all went back to the offender’s house, where they stayed up drinking and taking drugs.
Everyone had had a lot to drink and one of the girls fell asleep on the offender’s bed, although she doesn’t remember how she came to be in his bedroom. The victim awoke to find the offender on top of her raping her. The convicted offender denied having sex with her despite the forensic evidence showing his semen was present on her internal vaginal swabs.
Cheshire Police established a Dedicated Rape Unit a year ago and officers within the unit dealt with a total of 232 rape and sexual assaults between 19 September 2011 and 30th September 2012 and have made 130 arrests.
By using the specialist skills and expertise of the detectives in the Unit and by working closely with the Crown Prosecution service whose officers form part of the Unit, Cheshire police have been able to improve on the number of cases of rape that are solved and Cheshire now ranks 3rd highest for detection rates within the most similar group of forces.
The detection rate from October 2011 to September 2012 is 22% with a 17% increase in total rape detections in comparison with the same period for 2010/11. Although there has been a rise in the number of rape incidents being reported in the last year, the incidences of rape and offender’s motives for assaulting someone are overriding issues and it is this which Cheshire Police will be focusing on over the coming months.
For more information on the ‘rape shatters lives’ campaign, please go to cheshire.police.uk.