POLICE have unveiled a hard-hitting anti-rape campaign aimed at young men, while warning the crime remains “under-reported” across the country.
A new advertisement, which will only be broadcast after the 9pm watershed on television, shows a man trying to undress a young woman against her will after they kiss.
The advertisement, which will also be shown in cinemas and online, features the message: “A kiss isn’t a green light to do what you want. Sex without consent is rape.”
The campaign is targeted at 16 to 27-year-old men, a demographic responsible for more than one-third of rapes reported in Scotland.
It comes as staff in some pubs and clubs are undergoing “bystander training” which helps them recognise when they could intervene to prevent someone becoming the victim of a sexual assault.
Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Sir Stephen House launched the latest phase of the “We Can Stop It” campaign at the Butterfly and Pig bar in Glasgow yesterday, where he watched staff undergo the training.
Our ultimate aim though...is preventing these crimes in the first placeSir Stephen House
He said: “Sex without consent is rape. There are no excuses. If someone is drunk or drugged, they cannot give consent.
“We Can Stop It sends a very clear message: we can and we must prevent rape and sexual assault. Police Scotland is working closely with partners to raise awareness and tackle the life-changing impact of sexual crime.
“We must do all we can to prevent rape and sexual assault, alongside offering all the necessary support and protection to those who are victims of sexual assaults. The number of people coming forward to report rape is increasing, which is a positive sign that victims are becoming more confident in coming forward, knowing their report will be thoroughly investigated.
“But we know this is an under-reported crime. We want to encourage people to come forward and to report. Let me be clear: we will listen and we will act.
“Our ultimate aim, though, with our partners, is preventing these crimes in the first place and this campaign contributes to that work.”
During 2014-15, Police Scotland recorded 1,797 rapes, an increase of 91 (5.3 per cent) on the previous year. The detection rate was 74 per cent.
Last year, Rape Crisis reported that it had seen a 35 per cent increase in the number of victims going on to report to the police.
The new campaign, which will run from this month until next year, will cost nearly £80,000 and includes digital advertising and posters in public toilets.
Sandy Brindley, national co-ordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “We strongly support the development of this campaign, which directly targets potential perpetrators of rape.
“The law is clear – sex without consent is rape, but we need to do much more to increase public awareness around this issue.
“The new advert can play an important part in making sure people, particularly young people, are clear about what rape actually is and that it can have serious consequences.”
The bystander training, which is part of Police Scotland’s preventative approach, aims to help bar staff recognise situations where someone may be vulnerable and give staff guidance on how to intervene safely, such as by checking the person is all right with friends, or calling the police if needs be.
Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, bystander trainer at the violence reduction unit, said: “It’s great to see those who work in pubs and clubs showing this willingness to see their role in the prevention of this crime.”