The NSW Police Force have launched a new “#thereisnoexcuse” social media video campaign to encourage the community to report incidents of sexual assault to investigators.
The video campaign is an initiative by the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad and aims to address community queries and concerns about the process of reporting sexual assault and available support services.
Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec, said sexual assault is a serious crime that can impact anyone within the community.
“NSW Police understand that reporting sexual assault can be distressing and traumatic for victims – and it always the choice of an individual whether to proceed with an investigation or not,” Det Supt Kerlatec said.
“Our experience demonstrates that not all people want incidents of sexual assault to be formally investigated, however, we strongly encourage victims and witnesses to come forward.
“Consent is a primary factor in every sexual assault, whether it be in an established relationship, a person you connected with on a dating site, a person you met on a night out or a complete stranger.
“Without initial and continued consent, a person’s rights are violated, and a crime is being committed.
“Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of adult sexual assaults reported to police. In 2015, we recorded 2,077 reports, while last year police received 2,712.
“We know the community are listening and this increase can be attributed to a number of factors including public awareness and the investigation of historical matters being brought to the attention of police.
“As an organisation, we want to make it clear, that all reported cases of sexual assault will be thoroughly investigated to ensure justice for the victim,” Det Supt Kerlatec said.
In the five-part social media video campaign, members of the public respond to commonly asked questions relating to sexual assault before being addressed by senior police. These include;
- the definition of consent,
- who should report sexual assault and when,
- the use of alcohol or substances during sexual assault,
- what sexual offenders look like, and
- how can you support a victim of sexual assault.
The videos also feature responses from Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia Executive Officer, Karen Willis, and Communications Activist, Ruby Claire.
The fifth video will be an animation that details the process of reporting a sexual assault to police, to ensure victims and witnesses feel safe to come forward and provide information to investigators.
The campaign will be rolled out across the NSW Police Force social media pages over the next two months.
For more information about sexual assault, visit –https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/sex_crimes/adult_sexual_assault