The Rape Crisis Midwest has launched a powerful and thought provoking new video ad campaign entitled What Happens Next Matters. The video came to fruition after the Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) was approached by Cashmere Media Production Company, who offered their time, services and expertise for free, following their public funding appeal last year.
Working collaboratively with Cashmere Media and Rape Crisis Network Ireland, the key messages they wanted to address became clear, acquaintance rape, consent and victim blaming.
According to the National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2013, 91% of perpetrators of rape were known to the victim.
“Consent is a vital part of sexual relationships. It is paramount that enthusiastic consent be given before any and all sexual activity occurs between partners, but what the video also shows is that consent can be withdrawn at any time. Everyone has the right to change their mind and this choice should be respected,” said a spokesperson.
Victim blaming and the stigma surrounding sexual violence is another issue Rape Crisis want to draw attention to. They say victim blaming is what prevents a lot of survivors from coming forward and is something that needs to be challenged.
“The perception of the public needs to be challenged and changed to not judge or blame survivors. The sole cause of rape is the rapist,” their spokesperson added.
The hope of Rape Crisis Midwest is that when people watch and share this video it will start an important dialogue around sexual violence and engage people to challenge their perceptions of who they think survivors and perpetrators are.
Furthermore, they want everyone to know that there are a number of specialised services available to all survivors of sexual violence in the region.
In 2013, 32,026 contacts were made to Rape Crisis Centre Helplines throughout Ireland, an 11% increase from 2012 figures.
Sexual violence effects 2 in 5 women and 1 in 5 men in this country (SAVI, 2002).