Sexual harassment and rape happens all year round, but over Christmas, as in the rest of the year, predatory men target very drunk women.

These are alarming findings. We have had concerns for some time about the impact of attitudes that jury members might hold on decision making in rape trials.

Study after study has shown that a significant minority of the population blame women in certain circumstances, if we are flirting, drinking or have engaged in a certain level of consensual sexual activity.

Read more: Third of people still think rape isn’t rape unless it involves violence, shock report reveals

It would be naive to think these attitudes have no bearing on how jury members interpret the evidence.

This new study shows a worrying lack of understanding of what rape actually is. The law is clear: sex without consent is rape. Public attitudes need to change if rape survivors are to get justice.

Sir John Gillen in his recent review of justice responses to rape in Northern Ireland stated rape myths undermine the notion of a fair trial. It is clear that concerted action is required across the whole of the UK to tackle the impact of rape myths on our justice system. 

One recommendation from his view was the development of a video debunking rape myths which should be shown to juries prior to any evidence being led. We would like the Scottish Government to consider this for Scotland.

The first meeting of the Victims’ Taskforce is taking place next week, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. These are exactly the issues we need to be considering as part of this group.

Fundamentally, we need a cultural change in our attitudes to both rape and women’s sexuality. In Scotland, the conviction rate for rape is 39% – lower than for any other crime type.

Sandy Brindley is chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland.