NEW animation videos have been produced to raise awareness of sexual assault and how to seek support following an incident.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer has been working alongside members of Cheshire’s Youth Commission to design and produce a series of animations which are now online.
The Commissioner held a meeting earlier this year with young people who represented the Youth Commission and was shocked to hear the prevalence of these issues, especially amongst young people.
Young people were asked for ideas on how the Commissioner could assist in raising awareness about the issue and equipping people with the information they need to seek support and report incidents,
As a result, the group has been working hard to develop a series of animations which aim to educate and inform young people whilst helping them to recognise inappropriate behaviour.
Mr Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said: “Whilst initially I was shocked at the prevalence of this issue, I was able to quickly see how passionate young people were about making a difference and taking action. They came up with all the ideas from start to finish and I am so pleased with the animations.”
“I hope the animations will be used widely, and that those who sadly become victims of sexual assault feel able to seek the support they need at the time which is right for them. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim to speak to someone, even if it’s just a friend, so that they can help.”
The Commissioner had previously been made aware of similar issues affecting young people in Chester, including a perception that sexual violence was occurring in areas with large student populations. As a result, a bid has been submitted for government funding from the Safer Streets Fund to support work to tackle the concerns that were raised. The outcome of this bid is not yet known but it is hoped it will build on the great work currently taking place via a wide variety of organisations.
The Commissioner recently attended the University of Chester’s welcome event where he spoke to young people directly and showed the animations to new students to gain their views. The animations were welcomed by students who liked the idea they had been made for young people, by young people.
Mr Dwyer added: “I was delighted to attend the welcome event in Chester where I was able to speak with young people about this, and other issues in policing that matter to them. Events like this always provide a great opportunity to equip people with the knowledge and information they may need.”
Ali Roberts from Leaders Unlocked said: “It’s so important for all the Youth Commission members to feel like they have a voice and that they represent others from across Cheshire. The issue of consent and appropriate behaviour is something year-on-year we come across when consulting with young people.
“On behalf of the members of the commission, I would like to thank John Dwyer for his continued support and it’s great to see him listening to young people and taking such positive action with them and valuing their ideas.”
The Youth Commission continues to give young people the opportunity to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cheshire Constabulary.
More information about the Youth Commission can be found at: www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/youth-commission
You can watch the animations at www.youtube.com/cheshirepcc