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Seven per cent of reported rapes occurred on a first or second date, Police Scotland figures reveal

Police Scotland #getconsent campaign materials - Image credit: Police Scotland

Seven per cent of reported rapes occurred on a first or second date, Police Scotland figures reveal

Dozens of rapes in Scotland occur on a first or second date, according to new figures released by Police Scotland. 

In 2018/19, there were 2,293 rapes reported in Scotland, with the alleged perpetrator being the partner or ex-partner of the victim in 35 per cent of cases.

But in nearly 11 per cent of the remaining incidents – seven per cent of the total reported cases – people said that they had been raped on the first or second date.

More than 160 people reported being raped in the very early stages of dating in 2018-19.

This figure includes people who met online, through dating apps or on social media, and where the victim had met the perpetrator in a social setting prior to the date.

In response to the figures, Police Scotland has launched a £30,000 campaign, #GetConsent, warning that sex without consent is rape.

The campaign is aimed primarily at 18 to 35-year-old men, which is the peak age for offending, and it aims to prevent crime by changing behaviour and attitudes.

Police Scotland assistant chief constable for major crime and public protection Gillian MacDonald said: “More than 160 people reported being raped on a first or second date last year – a shocking statistic – and even more so when you consider that this number is likely to be significantly under-reported.

“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.”

Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland added: “No-one is entitled to sex.

“It’s not something that anyone can earn through their efforts at flirting, or whole evenings spent messaging or chatting someone up.

“Sex without consent is rape, and that consent must always be free and willing, not something assumed or given through pressure or coercion.

“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.”

The #GetConsent campaign will run for six weeks from 2 September 2019 on social media, telephone boxes and in pub and club toilets.

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