Rape survivors have welcomed a powerful new campaign designed to challenge misconceptions about how people react when attacked.
Funded by the Scottish Government and voiced by Daniela Nardini ‘I just froze’ is centred on two creative animations . The online campaign emphasises that freezing is a common and natural response to rape, challenging prevalent beliefs that ‘fight or flight’ are the only valid responses to trauma. In doing so, ‘I just froze’ defies the idea that people are always able to fight back or report rape straight away and helps people to understand why this might be. This understanding is vital to improving public attitudes and responses to survivors of sexual violence across Scotland.
Both animations will be shown as part of International Women’s Day film show at 6pm on Wednesday 8th March at the Phoenix Cinema. Normal Rates apply and all proceeds will go to Women’s Aid Orkney.
‘Zelda Bradley, Support & Development Worker for Orkney Rape Crisis said,
“Orkney Rape Crisis welcome Rape Crisis Scotland’s new campaign ‘I Just Froze’. It’s central message – that there is no ‘right’ way to respond to rape is a vital one, and something that the public really needs to know.”
“We regularly see survivors who tell us that they froze, and found themselves unable to move or fight back while someone was assaulting them. Survivors we see can find it very difficult to talk about what’s happened to them, even with people they are close to, so it can be difficult for them to get the support they need, or to report to the police. And this is something that will not change until there is a far greater public awareness that there are many different responses to rape, and all of them are completely natural and normal.”
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government, commented:
“What’s really important about the I just froze campaign is that we are trying to change public perceptions and understanding of the full impact that a heinous crime like rape can have on the victim.”
“When I’ve spoken with victims of these types of crime it is clear that each will react and respond in a different way and this is such 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.”
Phil Gormley, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, said:
“Rape is a traumatic event and no two reports are ever the same, every single person will react and engage with us differently. We recognise this and that we need to tailor our policing response to the needs of each individual. Trauma and exposure to criminality affects everyone differently and understanding this is fundamental to how we investigate and support victims.”
“The I Just Froze campaign is extremely important in increasing public understanding of how and why people might react to the trauma of rape. People should be reassured when they report, we do understand, we will listen and we will investigate, whether the offence occurred yesterday or decades ago. And working with partners like Rape Crisis, we will ensure the right support is available when it is needed.”
James Wolffe, QC, Lord Advocate, said:
“There are myths about sexual offences, and it is our duty as prosecutors to challenge them. Justice can only be served when victims of crime have the confidence to come forward and to speak up. “
“I want anyone who has been the victim of rape, or indeed of any sexual offence, to know that prosecutors understand the wide variety of natural responses of victims to such offences. No one who has been the victim of such a crime should be deterred from reporting it.”
“We will continue, both inside and outside the courtroom, to seek to educate the public – who go on to constitute our juries – about the reality of sexual offending. I am pleased to provide my support to Rape Crisis in this important campaign.”
The animations can be viewed here:
Fight or freeze: https://vimeo.com/194827751/c671c2048d
So many reasons: https://vimeo.com/194833252/67cd1f8372
Orkney Rape Crisis Service contact details
Sexual violence affects more people in our community that we imagine. Confidential support and advocacy for anyone from age 13. Whether recent or long ago. Whether you report or choose not to. We believe you.
Mon – Fri 9.30-4.30pm
www.orkneyrapecrisis.scot or call
Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline 08088 01 03 02 6pm till midnight
See Also: Maree Todd MSP: ‘A victim of rape in the Islands has the same right to access to justice as a victim of rape anywhere else’
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