Leaflets appearing to lay the blame of sex offences at the feet of victims have been handed out to teenagers during a talk about consent.
The flyer, which asks “R U Asking 4 It?”, was handed out to pupils in Bristol at the Only Yes Means Yes event last week.
Teenagers used social media to express their disbelief at the literature, which were distributed by Avon and Somerset Police.
Eloise Mainstone wrote: “We should be teaching people not to rape, not teaching us how to avoid it.”
Chlo Winfield added: “Have you seen this? ‘R u asking 4 it?’ Appalling message from police to students.”
It has since emerged the leaflets were produced nearly a decade ago and addressed student safety with regard to vehicle crime and robberies.
In a statement posted online, Avon and Somerset Police admitted the leaflets were inappropriate and out of date.
Chief Inspector Marie Wright, force lead for rape and sexual assault, said: “Any suggestion that a victim of rape or sexual assault can ever, in any way, be to blame is totally unacceptable and is the exact opposite of the message we’ve worked so hard to get across through our ‘This is not an excuse’ campaign.
“Our stance couldn’t be clearer and the students were right to challenge the incorrect message.
“We’re sorry this has happened. I will personally ensure a correct session is delivered to the students involved and have already arranged for the leaflets handed out, which are nearly ten years out of date, to be destroyed.”