Half of women blame the victims of sexual assault
More than half of women think that rape victims should take responsibility for their assault, a survey has found. One in ten thought that dancing provocatively, flirting or wearing revealing clothing made them partly to blame.
Haven, the sexual assault clinics that commissioned the survey of 1,000 people of both sexes, said this prevailing attitude deterred victims from reporting the crime.
The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men with those aged between 18 and 24 most likely to judge.
Some 71 per cent of women surveyed thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57 per cent of men.
One in ten said they were unsure whether they would report a rape to the police with 2 per cent reporting that they definitely would not.
The Wake Up To Rape report disclosed that 14 per cent of women believe that most rape claims are fabricated.
Elizabeth Harrison, manager of the Whitechapel Haven, one of three Havens centres in London, said: “Women look at court cases and think she was drunk, she wore a short skirt, I don’t do that so it won’t happen to me. But rape can happen to anyone in any circumstances. It’s particularly worrying that younger women are more likely to hold people responsible for what happens to them.
“The 18-24 group were more likely to say that engaging in conversation in a bar or accepting a drink makes them partially responsible. But it is this age group that are more likely to be going out doing that. We need to get the message out in schools tat rape is never your fault.”
Meanwhile one in three men polled said that didn’t think it was rape if they made their partner have sex when they didn’t want to and 13 per cent admitted having sex with someone who was too drunk to know what was happening.
Britain has the lowest conviction rate for sex attackers in Europe with only one in 14 rape complaints resulting in conviction.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Yexley from the Metropolitan Police, said: “Although the majority of women surveyed said they would contact the police, we understand that not everyone will feel comfortable approaching us in the first instance.
“The Havens offers invaluable help and support for people who may otherwise try to cope with the immediate effects of rape and sexual assault alone.”