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A rape crisis service that has helped its 1,000th survivor has produced three videos urging people to watch their language.
Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis (ABRC) want the videos to be shared as much as possible to get its message across that words, including language brushed off as banter and only a joke, impacts sexual violence.
Funding from women and girl’s charity Rosa and its Voices From the Frontline fund helped ABRC produce the three short animated videos with subtitles.
You can watch them here:
ABRC Sexual Violence Prevention Worker Emily Love, who led the project with input from colleagues and a Google survey asking if sexism was a problem in the area, said: ‘The more that kind of language becomes acceptable, the more it can develop into physical sexual violence. That’s the message we want to send out.
‘If you are not saying to people ‘don’t say that’ there’s a build-up effect. They get away with that, so what will their next step be?’
Emily added: ‘Language is huge. Often people say things and don’t think about it or say it’s just a joke but for a survivor or others it can make them feel unsafe.’
‘We’d ask as many people as possible to take the time to watch these videos, share them as widely as they can and think about the language they and others use.’
The videos have also been made available to schools.
In 2020, ABRC recorded helping its 1,000th survivor. There have been more since and during lockdown.
Emily said: ‘Argyll and Bute isn’t huge in that it doesn’t have a massive population so to have supported 1,000 people, it’s quite a significant number. It’s a bitter-sweet celebration. We are all extremely pleased we are here and that 1,000 people have come forward to seek support but at the same time it is sad.
‘There will be more survivors out there in Argyll and Bute who have not reached out and maybe don’t know we are here.’
Despite lockdown, ABRC has still been present.
‘We’ve still been here for people. Lockdown changed the way we have been able to help people. There’s been lots of facetime and phone calls. I’ve never used the word Zoom so much. We are lucky we’ve had the technology to help us but there are problems that come with it. Argyll and Bute doesn’t have the best internet signal, especially for people living out in the sticks so it’s not a permanent solution.
‘As much as we have been able to Zoom and Facetime, it just isn’t the same as seeing people in person to share an emotional burden. We are doing our absolute best but we can’t wait to give face-to-face support again.’
ABRC’s helpline number is 08001 214685, Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Caption: Be as good as your word. Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis has brought out three short videos raising awareness on how language impacts sexual violence.