A campaign to promote responsible sex and recent changes in the law aims to reduce rape and sexual assaults.

The "We can stop it" drive promotes a recent shift under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 which focuses on a range of offences such as sex when a victim is asleep or unconscious, sex without consent through inebriation and male rape.

The campaign wants young people to consider how they can prevent sexual offences and uses a group of 18 to 27-year-old men as role models.

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It is being led by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) after consultation with academics and focus groups who found that previous campaigns on the subject were often victim-focused or targeted men as perpetrators.

Acpos said the new campaign is designed to be positive and proactive, and aims to promote a sense of responsibility in cases of sexual assault by asking men to consider scenarios where sex would constitute rape.

The website reads:

Rape. Are you the type of guy who understands what this really means?

In Scotland the law relating to rape has recently changed. It now concentrates more on what ‘consent’ means and the fact consent can be withdrawn at any time. In addition, sexual attacks on men have been legally classed as ‘rape’ for the very first time.

The ‘we can stop it’ campaign has been created by Scottish police forces partially to raise awareness of these changes. However, more importantly, it asks you to take responsibility for your knowledge and pride in your attitude.

We believe together we can stop rape. Do you?

Assistant Chief Constable Graham Sinclair said: "Reducing incidents of rape and sexual assault is a priority for the police in Scotland and education plays a huge part in this. It is vitally important that the changes in legislation are promoted and understood, and I am delighted that this campaign is launching today.

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"The tone and language of the campaign marks a significant shift in approach to raising awareness of sexual offences legislation and I hope that it will help remind men that they are in complete control of their behaviour. There is no doubt - we need to work together to stop rape."

The campaign website offers the following tips to ensure consensual sex:
  • Take responsibility
  • Respect your sexual partner
  • Question your own attitudes
  • Stand up for your beliefs
  • Be proactive
  • Be supportive
  • Speak up
  • Get involved

Advertising on websites, pubs and clubs used by young people will be a focus of the campaign. A 30-second video has been made for the campaign website.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to express my support for the campaign.

"It is important that the public are aware of what rape is and the campaign will help in raising public awareness on this as well as dispelling any myths about rape. There is no concept of contributory negligence in the crime of rape. Rape is rape."