Support for teenage rape victims

TEENAGERS can fall victim to rape without even realising they are being abused by their partners, according to a hard-hitting campaign.

Cleveland Police are supporting a Government initiative to raise awareness of sexual assault among teens.

The Home Office’s Teenage Relationship Abuse (TRA) campaign has just been launched with the aim of stopping young people becoming victims or perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse.

It hopes to encourage them to re-think their views of sex crimes and will refer people who think they may have a problem to agencies which can offer help and advice.

Posters and TV, cinema and radio adverts are being released while a website has been set up for young people to find out more.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jason Dickson, Cleveland’s head of public protection, said: “Thankfully we have relatively low reported numbers and some of the victims will argue that it was in a consensual relationship.

“However we must get across the fact that there are some behaviours which are simply not acceptable within any relationship.

“Sadly, abuse or violence can happen in any relationship whether male, female or same sex, and it’s also important to remember that males can be victims too.

“By supporting the national campaign, Cleveland Police is sending out a message of reassurance.”

A Government website that has more information about what sexual abuse entails and the help and advice available can be found by logging onto www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link at the bottom of this online story.