In nearly half of all rapes reported to Police Scotland, the perpetrator was the partner or ex-partner of the victim.

This means that from April 1 2020 to January 31 2021, 46 per cent of rapes reported were linked to existing or former relationships.

Launching its 2021 Get Consent campaign, Police Scotland is warning that sex without consent is rape – and that includes within a relationship.

In 2020/21 from April to January, there was a 7.1 per cent decrease in the total number of rapes reported compared to the same period in 2019/20. However, a reduction in reporting does not mean a reduction in offending. All forms of sexual crime continue to be under-reported.

The Get Consent campaign is perpetrator-focused, aimed at men aged between 18 and 35 – the peak age for offending. The campaign builds on Police Scotland’s focus on preventing rape and reinforcing the need for consent in all relationships.

Assistant Chief Constable Judi Heaton, Major Crime and Public Protection, Police Scotland said: “Almost half of rapes reported to us are perpetrated within a relationship or by an ex-partner. I cannot be clearer on this, being in a relationship does not give anyone the right to sex.

“Sex without consent is rape – no justifications, no excuses. Our campaign focuses on rape within relationships and seeks to tackle these issues head on.

“Our primary aim has to be to prevent rape and sexual crime. Our message to perpetrators and those at risk of offending is: no-one is ‘entitled’ to sex. Sex without consent is rape – so make sure you get consent.”

Rape Crisis Scotland’s national rape crisis helpline is available 08088 01 03 02 every day from 6pm until midnight for anyone affected by sexual violence, no matter when or how it happened.