Original article from Kent Live
Police are warning that the idea of a 'National Rape Day' circulating on TikTok is a hoax and that parents should reassure their children they do not need to protect themselves.
Video rumours spreading the idea of a 'National Rape Day' on Saturday, April 24 started on social media platforms such as TikTok.
Police, social media users and charities have slammed the hoax with worries over its effect on younger women – TikTok has previously stated that 60 per cent of users are Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012).
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said: “Police are aware of a small number of malicious and untrue videos circulating on social media relating to a national rape day.
“Rape is one of the most devastating crimes police investigate and we are working with social media companies to remind them of their duty to remove potentially harmful videos of this nature from their platforms.
“Anyone with information or concerns should report them to police either online or by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.”
Yesterday, Hampshire Police dealt with an incident where an 11-year-old girl took "two knives into school" over fears around the social media hoax.
In a Facebook post officers said that while "at the risk of highlighting something that does not deserve to be highlighted", they felt that it was "important to provide some information about a hoax social media post".
They said that Hampshire Constabulary officers had to speak to an 11-year-old girl who took two knives into school "because she heard it was almost National Rape Day and she was afraid of being raped".
The post added: "Had the knives not been recovered this could have had dire consequences had this child lashed out in fear for any reason.
"Parents, please reassure your children that the hoax in question is exactly that: a hoax. It is NOT true and they definitely do not need to arm themselves for protection.
"And if you or your children see the "joke" post in question, please report it to the social media platform so they can take action and DO NOT share it as it simply spreads fear and anxiety, particularly among school and college aged children."
Today, one parent shared communication from his son's secondary school regarding the matter.
It read: "Schools have been asked to make parents aware that there may be anxiety amongst young people as a result of this suspicious campaign.
"The official Police Instagram account is broadcasting messages reassuring people that there is no such day but the SSCT are aware of some females are [sic] planning to carry weapons throughout the day in order to protect themselves."
In other counties, police are conducting investigations into WhatsApp chats and online posts to squash the hoax.