Campaign to stop sexual violence targets unis

03:31, Feb 25 2012
Who are You?
WHO ARE YOU?: Students heading to University orientation weeks will be targeted by acampaign, which aims to raise public awareness of how sexual assaults can be prevented.

A sexual violence prevention campaign established in Wellington for the Rugby World Cup will being launched nationwide this week.

Students heading to University orientation weeks will be targeted by the Who are You? campaign, which aims to raise public awareness of how sexual assaults can be prevented.

Rolled out for the Rugby World Cup, it was the first known New Zealand campaign to push the concept of being an "ethical bystander", an approach that holds everybody responsible for the safety of those around them.

Agencies including police, the Wellington Sexual Abuse Network and Regional Public Health joined together for the campaign.

Campaign spokeswoman Kim Lund of SAATS (Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Services) said Who Are You? bumper stickers would be placed in the orientation packs of all first year university students in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.

Sexual violence could often be prevented "if someone did something, however small,"  she said.
 
"Offenders are most often known to the victim and the events leading up to an assault are often witnessed by others. Most of us want to help if we are in an unsafe situation, but sometimes we're not sure how to step in and do something."

There were 3016 reported sex assaults in New Zealand last year, and hundreds more thought unreported.

People should only intervene if it seemed safe, and call police if necessary.

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It's estimated that one in 4 women and one in 20 men in New Zealand will be victims of a sexual assault at some point in their lives.

The typical 15-to-24- year-old female victim had met her assailant in a bar or at a party beforehand.

Victims - both male and female - had frequently downed about 20 standard drinks and were most commonly assaulted by someone they knew.

The Who are You? multi-media campaign will be nationally throughout the second half of February into early March.

For more information see whoareyou.co.nz