This is Abuse

6th March 2012

A powerful new TV advertising campaign challenging teenagers to re-think their views of what constitutes rape and consent was launched by the Home Office this week.

With 33% of teenage girls and 16% of boys reporting that they have experienced some form of sexual violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend, the campaign aims to help teenagers recognise unacceptable behaviour. The adverts are aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds and feature a teenage girl being coerced into sex. They will run for a month on youth TV channels, as well as in cinemas and online.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, who launched the campaign with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, said:

"Teenagers are inundated with information about relationships, from their friends, the internet and TV, so that knowing what’s actually acceptable can be really difficult.

"This campaign aims to dispel the myths that can lead to acceptance of rape in relationships. Bringing the issue out in the open will help teenagers feel confident about challenging abuse when they see it and ultimately protect potential victims."

The Manager of Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service, said:

“Unfortunately we see the consequences of teenage rape too often, which is why DRASACS fully supports the new Home Office campaign. It’s essential that we raise teenagers’ awareness of the realities of rape and the importance of having proper, healthy relationships.

“It’s also vital that support is available for teenagers who do experience rape or sexual abuse. At DRASACS we are able to offer counselling and, if they choose to report the incident, our ISVA service can also help people through the criminal justice system.”

The adverts point teenagers towards a website designed specifically for them, where they can find information, seek help and share experiences with their peers.

You can view all of the campaign videos on the dedicated This is Abuse Youtube channel.