A WOMEN’S rugby team in York is backing a local charity’s campaign against sexual abuse and violence.

Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) is taking part in the awareness week from today, Monday, and members of the University of York’s Women’s Rugby Club have filmed a video to help put their point across.

The team also includes the IDAS logo on their new kit, and this week’s campaign is a response to research that showed more than 88,000 sexual offences were recorded by police around the country, the largest annual increase since 2002.

IDAS is also releasing five blogs providing accounts from survivors of sexual abuse, sextortion - blackmail using sexual images -, rape within relationships, the involvement of drugs and alcohol in sexual violence, and rape of sex workers.

One survivor of sextortion said in the blog: “I said that I would call the police and report them but they said what I had done was illegal as I was under 18. I felt so stupid. Stupid, alone and disgusted with myself.  

“I became very withdrawn and avoided seeing my friends in case they knew anything, after all they’d had requests too initially. Then an organisation came into school and gave a talk about sextortion, sexting and the law.

" It finally clicked what had happened to me and I spoke out. I wasn’t the criminal, I had been blackmailed and exploited. I was under 18 and therefore it was illegal for those images to have been requested, produced and stored.”

The blogs will be released on Twitter @IDASfor100 on Facebook and online at idas.org.uk Anyone affected can phone IDAS 24-hour helpline on 03000 110110, or the Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 01904 669339 or police on 101 or 999.