Victim waives anonymity to confront twisted belief that 'rape is justified'

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A WOMAN who featured in a high-impact anti-rape campaign has waived her anonymity in order to highlight fears that the initiative has stalled through lack of government support.

Faye Wilson from Buckie was featured in the hard-hitting poster campaign which carried the banner line: "This is not an invitation to rape me."

Ms Wilson said she was speaking out because she believes underfunding means the campaign is unlikely to make an impact on Scotland's "shockingly low" 2.9 per cent rape conviction rate for reported attacks.

The 200,000 initiative challenged the view that women are often to blame for being raped and included glossy images of a young woman wearing a revealing top, a couple kissing in the back of a taxi and a newlywed couple.

The 26-year-old was raped in her hometown when she was 16 after drinking and flirting with a male friend. She said the event had led to her using drugs. However, after counselling at the Aberdeen Rape Crisis Centre, she agreed to help the campaign, doing voice-overs and TV interviews where her identity was hidden.

She said: "There was a great big burst of publicity last October when the campaign was launched, with all the posters appearing on bus shelters and billboards, but it seems to have disappeared.

"You only have to go on the This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me website and look at some of the disgusting crass comments left by some men to see it's going to take years of campaigning to do something about the conviction rate."

One comment read: "I think rape is justified if the female wears slutty clothes."

Ms Wilson, who is training to be a marine conservationist, added: "I believe the conviction rate would go up if juries were seeing the posters all the time and just understanding what we're trying to get across.

"The Scottish Government needs to put more money in and make this a continual, year-round campaign so that everyone sees it – the public, police, jurors, nurses and doctors, everyone."

Ms Wilson is now looking for sponsors for a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro later this year to raise funds for rape crisis centres in Aberdeen and Fraserburgh.

Sandy Brindley, co-ordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland – which has received more than 2,000 calls over the past ten months – said: "It's very important to hear women speaking out like this.

"We will be receiving 155,000 from the Scottish Government for our new campaign in the spring. But there needs to be a long-term commitment from government because we can't change attitudes overnight."

Bill Aitken, the Conservatives' Holyrood justice spokesman, said: "Rape is an appalling crime. In an ideal world, I would be totally supportive of an all-year round campaign with additional funding. But I do need to recognise the financial constraints which exist."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "We are investing 44 million over three years to tackle and prevent all forms of violence against women."

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