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97k for the 97%: Elisha's inspirational run for victims of sexual assault

Elisha Jones, 20, is raising money for the Rape Crisis England & Wales after a survey revealed that 97% of women asked aged between 18-24 have been sexually assaulted in the UK.
Elisha Jones
'Sex education should cover consent' says woman after shocking 97% stats

The revelation of the statistics for 18-24-year-olds has been concerning for many people, particularly youngsters who have wanted to get involved in supporting the cause to raise awareness on sexual assault in the UK. 

Elisha has said that she believes there could be more police support, and she believes an understanding of consent in sex education classes at school would also be beneficial to driving the number down. 

The 20-year-old from Werrington has decided to run 97k in a bid to raise money to support the 97%, which she chose to do after she was made aware of the campaign to support young women. 

Speaking to Peterborough Matters, Elisha said: "The revelation of the 97% made me angry and upset and I know a lot of people feel that way. I know a lot of my friends are a part of that percentage including myself – it’s one thing that has always made me really angry. It gets talked about a lot in arguments and debates; this means a lot to me. 

"In my experience, I think the police could do more to help victims. When I went to the police the man involved was let off because he was too drunk to know what he was doing, that’s what I was told by the CPS, I was also informed that the CCTV footage wasn’t good enough."

Elisha added an additional cause for concern which has been circulating on social media. She said: "Last week, a TikTok went around with some boys declaring that on April 24 it was legal to rape and sexually assault women. I know a lot of people who were so scared that they didn’t want to go out that day – I asked my boyfriend to pick me up from work because you just can’t be too careful. 

"I want to help as much as I can, but it’s quite hard to do a lot when you’re quite small compared to the businesses, companies and corporations that can do things. I try to help in ways I can including believing and supporting someone when they tell you something."

Elisha explained that she thinks schools could play a big part in supporting people in understanding consent, and she added: "If there was a safe space for people at schools or if people were educated on consent, it would make a big difference – I know a lot of younger people experience it.

"When I did sex education there was nothing on consent, and I know that times are changing, but I think if they did a class so that men and women both learn about consent while they’re in school that’s a big step. It will teach them before they go out into the real world so that they understand that no means no and that you can’t pressure someone into doing something and you don’t have to do something.

"There are also lots of hidden numbers that people aren't aware of which means if you're on the phone to the police but can't talk you can still get in touch with them – I wish I knew that when I was that age."

Elisha will be running for the cause until May 7. She's already exceeded her target of £150, but you could help her raise even more by clicking here

Detective Superintendent John Massey, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People at Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: "In recent years we have taken significant steps forward in our investigation of serious sexual offences and the protection of vulnerable victims. We have a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and dedicated ‘specially trained officers’, who support victims through the investigation process.

"At the SARC we work closely with Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) to deliver the specialist care required to facilitate the journey through the criminal justice system. Furthermore, we have expanded our Rape Investigation Team, introduced a serious sexual offences training programme for detectives and built stronger relationships with support agencies such as Rape Crisis and worked with them to improve our quality of service to victims."

If you wish to make a silent call you can call 999 from a mobile and then press 55 to be transferred to the police.