A NEW campaign to challenge the idea that rape victims should fight back when attacked has been launched.
Rape Crisis Scotland has revealed the ‘I Just Froze’ campaign to highlight that it is a common and natural reaction to a serious sexual assault.
The campaign has the support of the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate who hope it will prevent victims from feeling they can’t report a rape.
Rape Crisis said the idea that people would or should fight back is a misconception and a better understanding of how actual victims react is needed to improve reporting and convictions rates.
Sandy Brindley, National Coordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “Survivors of rape often tell us that they just froze, that they couldn’t move, or cry out. This is a normal response to trauma.
“We hope that the ‘I just froze’ campaign shows exactly why it’s so important that everyone understands this; because one day someone, maybe a friend, partner or family member, might tell you that they have been raped. Or one day you might be on a jury listening to someone say that they thought they thought they’d fight back, but they just froze.”
Rape Crisis Scotland said that as well as the initial response there can be a delay in victims reporting a rape as they fear they won’t be believed or judged because they did not fight back.
Michael Matheson, Justice Secretary, said “When I’ve spoken with victims of these types of crime it is clear that each will react and respond in a different way. This is a crucial campaign to educate us all about how survivors of rape can be better understood and supported to come forward, report their attack and get access to the help they deserve.”
Campaigners want to improve the reporting, prosecutions and conviction rate.
Statistics show a 16% drop in the number of rape convictions.