Welcome for controversial anti-rape message

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A CONTROVERSIAL campaign aimed at tackling the "women-blaming" attitudes towards rape has been welcomed by a local organisation.

The hard-hitting campaign, officially launched in Lothian and Borders Police area yesterday, will see posters featuring provocative shots of women in different situations with the slogan This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me.

It aims to tackle myths such as the belief that a woman is responsible for rape if she is dressed provocatively, engages in some level of sexual activity, or has been drinking alcohol. It also aims to show that rape is not just a crime committed by strangers, and that women can be raped by their partner.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "We can bring the law into the 21st century, but sadly it's clear we need to bring attitudes into the 21st century too.

"No right-thinking person can ever consider that a woman's attire or drinking habits place any culpability on the victim."

Councillor Isabel Hutton, West Lothian Council's social policy leader and a member of West Lothian's Violence against Women Strategic Group, backed the new campaign.

"Challenging attitudes that women who are raped have any responsibility for that violence is essential to improving conviction rates and supporting survivors," she said.

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