The number of rape cases reported the police has increased, following the debate surrounding Ched Evans' release from prison.
The former footballer was freed in October having served half his five-year sentence. He was convicted of raping an inebriated woman in a hotel room in 2011.
The case became a subject of public debate, as it was discussed whether or not he should reinstated at former football club Sheffield United. Despite the guilty verdict of the jury, Evans has continuously asserted his innocence, claiming the sex was consensual.
UK police forces have since seen a rise in the number of women claiming to be victims of rape, with figures increasing on average by 50 percent between August and October.
In Northumbria, reports have risen 192 percent compared to the same period last year.
“People know, in a way they didn’t before, that these cases do go to court and result in jail,” said Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
“The Ched Evans case has undoubtedly played a role.”
Baird adds that “it's a very good thing more people are coming forward because there's been a misunderstanding about how damaging rape or sexual abuse can be”.
“It's easy for people to think 'she was drunk, it was a quick bit of sex and he thought nothing of it,” she told The Mirror. “‘What difference does it make.' These cases have really brought home how damaging it is.”
In Greater Manchester has also seen an increase in reports. Detective Sergeant Claire Phythian said high-profile cases such as Evans have made an impact.
“They seem to have given victims the confidence that their case will be dealt with seriously,“ she said.
“Whether the rape happened today or 30 years ago - we will investigate.”