Men 'risk rape case without consent'

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Indy Politics

Men are to be warned in a nationwide publicity drive that they could face rape charges if they fail to get a woman's consent for sex.

Ministers have also signalled that the law could be tightened to protect women who are raped when they are drunk.

The £400,000 campaign will include radio advertisements, posters and advertisements in magazines aimed at young men.

It will warn them that the Sexual Offences Act stipulates that a person must agree to sex by choice and have the freedom to make that decision.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Giving consent is active, not passive, and it's up to everyone to make sure that their partner agrees to sexual activity."

Mike O'Brien, the Solicitor General, disclosed that the Government was considering a change in the rape laws to require juries, rather than judges, to decide whether a woman was too drunk to give consent to sex.

The move follows the recent acquittal by a judge of a defendant whose alleged victim said she could not remember what had happened after heavy drinking.

Mr O'Brien said: "It may be that the legislation needs some clarification, because these sorts of mistakes shouldn't be being made."