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Police Scotland has launched a campaign to reduce rape and sexual offending.


The 'We can stop it' campaign will raise awareness that sex without consent is rape.


Rape - sex without consent - is a serious criminal offence and takes many forms. If a person is unable to give consent for any reason then this is rape.


This could be if they are asleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being in a relationship does not give the right to have sex without consent.


Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald said: "In 2018 in Scotland sadly there are men who think it is OK to have sex with someone who is sleeping or suffering from the effects of alcohol or drugs.


"We are receiving frequent reports with at least 20% of all rapes reported to Police Scotland committed in such a way.


"Investigations carried out by Police Scotland shows that men aged between 18 -35 years are more likely to be responsible and we want to send a strong message to them that sex without consent is rape, and if the person is unable to give consent to sexual activity, for whatever reason, it is rape."


Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, added, “The law is clear - if you have sex with someone who is sleeping or so drunk they can’t consent, it’s rape. It is crucial that people are aware of this.”


Detective Chief Inspector Vincent Mclaughlin said: "Sexual offending is unacceptable and tackling this serious crime is a priority for Police Scotland, both nationally and locally in the Highlands and Islands.


"The only person to blame for a sexual offence is the perpetrator and a significant part of our work has to be the prevention of sexual crimes.


"We work in partnership with a range of agencies across the public and third sectors to educate people raise awareness about what is and isn't acceptable behaviour.”


Gillian Gunn, Violence Against Women Development & Training Manager for NHS Highland said: “Experiencing rape as an adult, child or young person can have a significant effect on someone’s life.


“It is important to remember that people can recover from sexual violence.


“Some of the myths about consent, sex, and rape still exist and it is important that we continue to challenge these.


“No one is responsible for rape other than the perpetrator.


“Something that we can all do is educate ourselves about rape and consent and challenge our friends and family if they perpetuate some of the myths.”


Detective Inspector Donald Macdonald of the Divisional Rape Investigation Unit said: "We have a dedicated team of specialist officers committed to investigating reports of rape or sexual offences.


"Every report is taken seriously and we will sensitively and thoroughly investigate robustly to bring perpetrators to justice.


"Time is no barrier to justice, please report any offences which have occurred to us so we can take action.


"There are various ways to report an offence, either direct to Police Scotland or one of the many partner agencies such as Rape Crisis Scotland or Women's Aid."


You can contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.






Launch of sexual consent awareness campaign  

16 February 2018