A new campaign began this week to challenge the way people in Warwickshire understand consent to sex.
Police, support groups and the NHS are joining forces in response to figures showing is an increase in the number of rapes committed during the summer months.
Fay Maxted of The Survivors Trust, which is supporting the campaign, said: “Some people still do not understand what true consent is. It does not matter how revealing someone’s clothes may be, how much they have drunk, if you’ve already kissed, or if you’re in a long term relationship, sex without consent is rape. Rape is never the victim’s fault.”
Det Supt Graeme Pallister said: “If someone is too drunk to know what they are doing, then they cannot consent to sex and it is rape. Being drunk yourself is no defence either. “
A new website - StopRapeNow.co.uk - gives advice on the meaning of consent, and posters have been produced to counter some people’s perceptions of the term.
The campaign also seeks to challenge myths around rape, emphasising that most rape victims are raped by people they know.
Det Supt Pallister added: “Any form of unwanted sexual touching is a crime, whether or not it leads to rape, and the police will take every case seriously and will investigate every rape and sexual assault reported to them.”
Warwickshire Police recorded 132 cases of rape in 2011, with 11 of the victims being male. Some 44 of the victims were aged under 16.