A majority of women believe rape victims should take responsibility for what happened, a survey suggests.
Almost three quarters of the women who believed this said if a victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility.
One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker’s house for a drink.
The survey of more than 1,000 people in London marked the 10th anniversary of the Haven service for rape victims.
More than half of those of both sexes questioned said there were some circumstances when a rape victim should accept responsibility for an attack.
The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men.
Of the women who believed some victims should take responsibility, 71% thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57% of men.
An Amnesty International report five years ago found that a significant minority of British people laid the blame for rape at victims themselves.
So over the last 5 years instead of progress we have gone backwards…
Around one in 12 people (8%) believed that a woman was totally responsible for being raped if she’d had many sexual partners. Similarly, more than a quarter of people (30%) said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk, and more than a third (37%) held the same view if the woman had failed to clearly say “no” to the man.
Changes in the law relating to consent mean that an alleged rapist must show that they had taken reasonable steps to ensure that the other person had consented to sex. In this respect the poll exposes a gap between the law and public attitudes.
The poll also shows that the vast majority of the British population has no idea how many women are raped every year in the UK, with 96% of those polled saying they either didn’t know the true extent of rape or that they thought it was far lower than the true figure.
Only 4% of respondents even thought the number of women raped exceeds 10,000 per year when the true figure is likely to be well in excess of 50,000:
I know I shouldn’t let this poll get to me… but it does… so according to the general population a woman should monitor their dress and behaviour always on the look out for rape, whereas the men are fine and allowed to jump on whatever woman they want? I kind of wonder how many of the women who took this poll keep by their own rules: never drink, never wear revealing clothing, never flirt, etc…
So then… was it my fault? Was it my fault when I was 16 and a guy held a knife to my throat? Was it my fault when my landlord manipulated and blackmailed me into dating him and then tied me up before raping me? Was it my fault when my landlord and his friend held me down, beat me and took it in turns to rape me?