If anyone ever tries to trivialise rape, show them this picture immediately

Anderson 5 Citizens for Quality Education/Facebook screengrab

Four students have been punished after a photo of them with body paint spelling the word 'Rape' went viral on social media.

On Friday, Westside High School's football team in South Carolina played local rivals Daniel High School.

A group of students were fundraising for breast cancer awareness on the day, and spelled out the letters of the words 'Bump cancer' on their chests in pink paint.

Four of the students from the fundraising effort got together combining the letters R-A-P-E - they also posed for photographs.

One, sent on Snapchat, was captioned 'What we do to Daniel' - referring to the rival team.

The image was shared on Sunday by Anderson 5 Citizens for Quality Education, an activist group in the local area's school district.

Posting on their Facebook page, the Anderson 5 group wrote:

Needless to say, using the threat of rape, even as analogy, is not behaviour that any school or any parent should (or hopefully would) condone. Rape culture in high school and college is a real threat to many students. The juxtaposition of a violent message with the breast cancer awareness symbology is of particular concern.

It continued.

Most of us here are parents ourselves, and understand the stupidity with which teenagers can act. Nonetheless, for those teens to learn that such behaviour, and the thought processes behind it, are never acceptable under any circumstances, we believe that the respective administrations need to take swift and immediate disciplinary action.

The school district's superintendent Tom Wilson responded to the backlash, telling WYFF News 4

I talked to the high school principal and all four boys have been punished, and oddly enough, all four are great students. They’ve never been in any trouble. They're not trouble makers. They're probably some of the best students there.

He said that the parents of the four young men had been notified. Wilson added:

I do believe that the intent was not an aggressive way. It was just a bad decision that they made to put this offensive term that certainly offends a lot of people, and that we agree was inappropriate and not what we want to represent Westside or District 5.

Rape Crisis England & Wales reported the highest ever number of calls to their helpline in the year 2016 to 2017 - 202,666 in total, or nearly 4,000 a week.

If you have been raped or assaulted there is always someone to talk to. You can phone Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon - 2.30pm and 7 - 9.30pm every day of the year.

You can also speak to your GP, the National Domestic Violence helpline (0808 2000 247),the NHS on 111, or the police on 101.

You can find out more information from the NHS here.

HT WYFF News 4

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