As part of his plan to build a more secure West Mercia, Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, has been funding the Purple Leaf service to eradicate sexual violence by educating the public about healthy relationships.
With an additional investment of over £200,000 provided this year to the West Mercia Rape and Sexual Assault Support Service who run Purple Leaf, substantial progress is being with young people.
Last year, almost 2,500 children and young people across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire received an education programme provided by the Purple Leaf service focussed on consent, gender, sexualisation, social media, pornography, and bystander intervention.
Following the group and 1:1 sessions, 99% of those who supplied feedback reported they have an increased understanding of consent and healthy relationships.
By raising awareness amongst young people about these matters, initiatives such as this funded by the PCC have contributed to 25% decrease in reports of sexual offences in South Worcestershire in the past year, with North Worcestershire recording a 20% decrease.
In Herefordshire, a 22% decrease in reports has been identified with all three local policing areas benefitting from the education and prevention programme implemented by Purple Leaf.
The PCC said: “Sexual violence is a serious crime and one which needs to be prevented through educating the younger generation. When young people learn what a healthy relationship looks like, they can lead by example and ensure they and others aren’t left with the damaging and lasting impact of these heinous crimes.
“I will continue to support initiatives such as the Purple Leaf service to ensure these crimes are eradicated from our society.”