Police Scotland reveals consent campaign amidst soaring date rape figures

Police Scotland's campaign posters highlight that sex without consent is rape.
Police Scotland's campaign posters highlight that sex without consent is rape.
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Police Scotland has launched an awareness campaign following reports that the number of victims raped on a first or second date has increased

Over 160 people have reported they were raped in the very early stages of dating in the last year, meaning that in one in ten cases the crime is committed by someone other than a partner or ex-partner, according to data from Police Scotland.

These figures, including people who met through social media and dating apps, were released as the force launched its £30,000 anti-rape campaign — #GetConsent — which aims to educate people on what legally constitutes as rape.

Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, Major Crime and Public Protection at Police Scotland introduced the campaign in reaction to the "shocking" statistics on rape occurring during the first or second date.

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She said: "No one should go on a date expecting or feeling entitled to sex, just as no one goes on a date expecting to be raped. Nor should anyone feel bullied, coerced or shamed into having sex because their date expects it or believes they're entitled to it because they paid for drinks or dinner.

“Our new campaign seeks to tackle these issues head on and make it clear that sex without consent is rape.”

The consent campaign focuses on changing behaviours and attitudes towards rape to prevent the crime, and is aimed at 18 — 35-year-old-men, as this is statistically the peak age for offending.

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Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland, said, “This campaign is a welcome contribution to the national conversation we need to be having about sex and consent. What needs to be clear – and it cannot be said enough – is that it doesn’t matter what the situation is, all sexual violence, abuse and harassment is unacceptable.”

For the next six weeks, the campaign will be advertised on telephone kiosks, in pub and club washrooms and on several social media platforms.