Inspector Martyn Brill, Police Scotland, said:
“Reading those accounts was shocking in terms of the extent of sexual offending against women and other young, vulnerable people of other genders in our community and the seriousness of this unreported criminality happening across Shetland.
“However, what disturbs me most, is that there are individuals in our community who think it is ok to behave in this way.
“My message to them is: this is not ok, it is unacceptable.
“There are many forms of gender-based violence, including sexual violence and domestic abuse. There are also many excuses used by offenders to shift the blame and explain their criminal actions.
“There are no excuses and the blame for any form of gender-based abuse, most of which is perpetrated by men against women but can be committed by anyone against anyone, lies with the perpetrator.
“It is up to all of us to recognise gender-based violence, challenge it and support those who have experienced it.
“Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or violence, or knows someone who has been a victim, can talk to us. We can help. We will listen and we will investigate. And we will continue to work with our partners to ensure support is available and to help make our communities safe for everyone.”
Lisa Ward, Service Manager at Shetland Rape Crisis, said:
“Sexual violence is any form of sexual contact that you don’t freely agree to. If you have been affected by sexual violence, it was not your fault and help is available.
Shetland Rape Crisis can support you however you choose to proceed – whether you want to make a formal report or whether you would prefer to access emotional support or trauma therapy – we are here for you. The choice is yours and we follow your lead to recovery.
We support survivors of all genders, backgrounds, and experiences; for those affected recently or a long time ago; recovery is possible.”
Laura Stronach, Shetland Women’s Aid, said:
“We need to call out the normalisation of sexual assault, coercion and rape within relationships and marriage, these are not things women and children should ever have to live with.
“It is never too late to talk to someone about what has happened to you, these experiences can affect how you live day to day for the rest of your life, but there is help available, and we can provide trauma recovery.
“The kind of behaviours exposed here are absolutely unacceptable and no one should have to go through any of these experiences. If you have been affected by anything mentioned in this article, please talk to someone about it.”
If you wish to report an offence, or know someone who has been a victim of gender-based abuse, and you would like to speak to someone about this or you wish to talk to someone, then contact detail and information can be accessed here:
Anyone wishing to report a crime to Police Scotland should call 101, but in an emergency or where a crime is in progress, always call 999