Scotland

New rape advert targets young Scottish men

Still from campaign Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption The new post-watershed advert aims to send a "clear message" to young men about consent

Police Scotland has released a hard-hitting new rape prevention advert aimed at young men.

Part of the ongoing We Can Stop It campaign, the TV and digital advert aims to challenge male behaviour and attitudes towards sexual consent.

It is targeted at men aged 16-27 year old men, who carry out a third of rapes reported in Scotland.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House said the ad sent a "clear message" to potential perpetrators.

The advert, which contains graphic scenes, will be shown after the 21:00 watershed on TV, in cinemas and as part of on-demand viewing services.

Posters will also be displayed in toilets around the country.

'No excuses'

Launching the campaign at a bar in Glasgow where staff are being trained to intervene if they suspect someone may become the victim of a sexual assault, Sir Stephen said police were doing all they could to prevent rape and support victims.

He added: "Sex without consent is rape. There are no excuses. If someone is drunk or drugged, they cannot give consent.

"The campaign sends a very clear message - we can and we must prevent rape and sexual assault."

Image copyright Other
Image caption A poster campaign will run alongside the television adverts

Sir Stephen said it was a "positive sign" that more women were coming forward to report attacks.

He added: "We know that this is an under-reported crime. We want to encourage people to come forward and to report. Let me be very 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."

Over the last year, Police Scotland recorded 1,797 rapes, an increase of 91, or 5.3%, on the previous year.

'Serious consequences'

The current detection rate is 74%, with the charity Rape Crisis Scotland recording a 35% increase in the number of victims reporting the crime to police.

The charity has said it strongly supports the campaign, particularly as it targets perpetrators directly.

Sandy Brindley, the charity's national co-ordinator, said: "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."

Police believe "bystander" training among bar and club staff is also important in preventing sexual assault.

Ch Insp Graham Goulden, of the Violence Reduction Unit said: "As bystanders we all have the potential to prevent any incident from escalating.

"By doing nothing we are telling offenders their behaviour is okay and victims they're on their own - this just isn't right.

"As well as discussing safe options to intervene, the training provides a safe platform to discuss the issue of rape and sexual assault."

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