A CAMPAIGN to ‘stop rape’ has been launched and police hope more people will now report sex attacks forward in the wake of the assaults committed by Jimmy Savile.

StopRapeNow is launched today by police, health, councils and support agencies across West Mercia and Warwickshire. The aim is to change people’s understanding of what it means to give consent.

Emma Durmaz, clinical manager of The Glade sexual assault referral centre (SARC) at Bransford, near Worcester said: “Rape can happen to anyone, irrespective of how old you may be or what sex you are. It is never the victim’s fault.

"The most important thing you can do is to make sure you get support and there are many local agencies that can help you. This may be reporting directly to the police, or you can self refer yourself to the SARC where we can still do a forensic examination if needed, freezing the samples, to give you time to consider what you want to do.”

Based on reporting to the police, there is an increase in the number of rapes committed during the warmer summer months, particularly among young people.

Jocelyn Anderson, chief executive of West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre 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.”

Det Supt Graeme Pallister said “A woman has the right to say no at any point. And if there’s any question about whether she’s drunk too much to give consent, assume she hasn’t given it. If she hasn’t consented and you still have sex with her, it is rape. Being drunk yourself is no defence either. “A man can be raped too - the offence can only be committed by another man, but women can be charged with being an accessory to rape or assault by penetration.”

Public perceptions are changing fast partly due to recent high profile media coverage around Savile and other celebrities say police. Those charged with rape face a prison sentence, loss of their job, a criminal record, will be on the sex offenders register and face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Most people are raped by someone they know.