Police aim to raise awareness over rapes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 December 2010

The police are appealing ahead of the busy Christmas period

The police are appealing ahead of the busy Christmas period

Copyright Archant Ltd

POLICE are trying to make sure people have a safe time partying over the festive season by raising awareness of acquaintance rape.

Avon and Somerset Police say most people believe they are far more likely to be raped by a stranger than an acquaintance, despite research showing that people are eight times more likely to be raped by some they know than by a stranger.

With thousands of people set to hit the bars, pubs and clubs of North Somerset over Christmas and New Year, police say they are keen to change this perception.

The term acquaintance rape refers to the victim knowing the offender, and police say that sexual assaults of this nature mainly take place on Friday and Saturday nights between midnight and 4am.

A police study has shown that in half of all reported cases of acquaintance rape, the victim is aged between 17 and 21.

Superintendent Steve Jeffries, force prevention lead on rape and sexual assault, said: “It should be stressed that incidents of rape are rare and account for less than one per cent of crime in the force area.

“Predominantly, acquaintance rape refers to those cases where two people – who know each other previously or get to know each other that evening – meet up in a bar or club and head back to one of their homes at the end of the night and things go too far.

“In addition, alcohol features in over half (54 per cent) of all reported acquaintance rape cases and this is obviously a factor as it can impair people’s judgement.”

“Often we believe that victims of acquaintance rape are ashamed to come forward as they believe it is their fault but this is not the case. We will take all reports of rape extremely seriously.”

For more information, visit www.rapeaware.org

More from Weston Mercury

34 minutes ago

Life satisfaction and happiness levels have dropped in North Somerset in the past year, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Read more

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has reassured people a teenager did not die in Worle last night (Wednesday) after rumours circulated on social media.

Read more

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch and ‘night glow’ which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more

A ‘spectacular’ firework display will take place on Marine Parade on Saturday.

Read more

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more

An accident involving two cars in Worle has resulted in slow moving traffic this morning (Thursday).

Read more

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more

The prospect of Weston’s Tropicana being transformed into an ‘entertainment hub’ courtesy of a £1million investment have moved forward this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:56

Hard-working sailing volunteers from Clevedon and Yatton will have a royal appointment this week to recognise decades of service.

Read more
Clevedon Yatton

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists