NSW Police are encouraging Northern Rivers residents to get involved in their campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence.
The five-week campaign 'Sexual assault - it's a crime' aims to generate conversation about sexual violence and encourage victims to report incidents to police.
State Crime Command's Serious Crime Director, Detective Chief Superintendent John Kerlatec, said sexual violence is one of the most under-reported crimes in NSW with 15 % of incidents reported.
"We believe that breaking the taboo surrounding sexual violence can help remove the shame or embarrassment for victims and ultimately make them feel comfortable to report it to police,” Det Ch Supt Kerlatec said.
The campaign strives to raise awareness of what constitutes sexual violence.
"Many people aren't even aware that any form of unwanted sexual contact is sexual violence and it's a crime,” Det Ch Supt Kerlatec said said.
"The key word is unwanted - it can include touching through to sexual assault, as well as sexual acts conducted in a victim's presence.”
Specialist police will facilitate Q&A sessions on Facebook Live to provide an insight into various issues surrounding sexual violence throughout the campaign.
Research indicates that one in four Australian women and one in ten Australian men have experienced sexual violence of some kind during their life.
Always call Triple Zero (000) to report sexual violence if you have fears for your own, or somebody else's, immediate safety.
In other instances, anyone with information about sexual, domestic, or family violence can call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.