North East Wales

Prestatyn premiere for student DVD on sexual violence

A DVD of a play by local students highlighting the consequences of sexual violence among the young has premiered at Prestatyn's Scala cinema and arts centre.

Sweet Dreams was written and performed by six drama students from Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan in Abergele.

It was put together to launch the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Sarc) in north Wales earlier this year.

But it is hoped the DVD can also be used as an educational tool.

"We worked closely with the students to produce a drama around the issue of sexual violence amongst young people," said Michelle Davidson Beck, domestic abuse lead officer for Conwy and Denbighshire community safety.

"The focus is on consequences and outcomes of non-consensual relationships, both for the perpetrator and victim," she added.

'Lot of fun'

The work is fictional, but the issues dealt with were a "major" issue for young people in "our very own locality", she said.

The DVD will now be used in schools to raise awareness of the issue of consent, she added.

Funding of £572 from the High Sheriff's Crimebeat fund made it possible to film the play and put it on DVD.

Katy Bennett, was one of the sixth formers who helped write the play. She also played both narrator and the victim's mum in the production.

"We had a lot of fun making the DVD and putting the drama together, but it was quite stressful at times," she said.

'Very impactive'

"We spent a day filming and at the time we had no concept of what it was going to look like.

"I was really impressed, particularly with the editing," she added.

The drama was written with the help of Kevin Jones, head of drama at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan with guidance and information from the police, the charity NSPCC, and the Crown Prosecution Service.

He said the project was used as part of the students' A-Level course work.

Supt Richard Brough, from North Wales Police, who was at the premiere, called the play "very impactive".

"Rape and sexual offences are very serious crimes," he said.

"In 97% of all cases the victim and the offender are known to each other," he added.

He said the Criminal Justice System had become "more professional" in the way victims and offenders are dealt with.

Part of this was the Sarc centre opened earlier this year, he added.

"However, where we really want to be is preventing these offences happening in the first place," he said.

"The issue of consent is a very difficult message to get across and this DVD, which is both entertaining and powerful, will greatly assist us."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites