Nexus NI collaborate with Police Service in ‘No Grey Zone’ Campaign

Nexus NI have joined partner agencies in launching a new sexual assault and sexual consent awareness campaign – ‘No Grey Zone’. The campaign, led by the Police Service of NI is aimed at creating an understanding of what sexual assault and sexual consent actually is in the hope of empowering and safeguarding young people across the region.

‘No Grey Zone’ partners a range of other support led organisations, including student unions from both Queens University, Belfast and Ulster University, Victim Support NI and the Rowan. It is an information and advice led campaign that will look to inform society, particularly young people, on what sexual assault and sexual consent is.

Discussing the campaign, Head of the Public Protection Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman said:

“Over the past number of years we have seen an increase in the number of sexual crimes being reported and we wanted to develop a campaign to educate young people about sexual consent and send the clear message that there is No Grey Zone.

“The campaign is specifically aimed at the target audience of 16 to 28 year olds. It uses clear language to give examples of sexual assault and brings the topic into the open in an unapologetic way. It is robust and fact based. Research carried out by Queens Students Union in their ‘Stand Together Report’ showed that just over 4% of students who said they had been sexually assaulted reported it to the police with half of those assaulted not telling anyone about their experience.

Cara Cash-Marley, Chief Executive, Nexus NI said,

“The No Grey Zone campaign is the start of a very important movement.  It is the beginning of a changed conversation for Northern Ireland.  “This commitment to working with a range of organisations shows we are dealing with a societal issue and one we need to address together – breaking the silence on sexual violence. We are saying the victim is never at fault.  We are saying we are all here to help and we are saying there is No Grey Zone.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman added;

“We want you to know that if you take the brave step of reporting it to police, you will be listened to, respected, treated sensitively, have your report thoroughly investigated and you will be signposted to support services.

Other organisations involved in the campaign are Women’s Aid, Public Prosecution Service, The Policing Board and the UUSU Advice Bureau. A dedicated website (www.nogreyzone.com) has been set up as part of the campaign, aimed at answering questions, providing support and guidance and sign positing support services if required.