A very disturbing, but unsurprising, survey released today suggests that over 50% of people think women should take some responsibility for being raped.
More than half of those questioned (56%) said the rape victim should be held "partly accountable" in certain circumstances.
You can see the press release here.
There is something about rape which makes people suspicious of the victim. This kind of suspicion is rarely applied to other crimes. Should mugging victims take a little responsibility if they look particularly weak and vulnerable? Are they asking for it? What about victims of theft? Should they examine themselves if they look wealthy or have a nice car? Is it to be expected? This kind of rhetoric doesn’t exist, but women who are raped are fair game. The worst thing is often women who have actually been raped think this kind of thing. No wonder rates of conviction are so low in the UK.
I was impressed by this post by Matt Lawrence, Crystal Palace defender. He says:
Maybe I’m a little long in the tooth, but I didn’t realise bed = sex… I know it’s an age-old adage, but I struggle to believe that just because a woman dresses provocatively it somehow makes her “fair game.”