Survey shows politicians not immune from the rape culture

A small survey of Welsh Assembly members has uncovered some findings which will sadden but not surprise.

According to the BBC, all 60 Welsh Assembly Members were sent a survey by Nerys Evans AM, asking questions about their experience with sexual and domestic violence. Only eight responded – seven women and one man.

Three had been raped.

One had been physically assaulted by a partner.

None of these crimes were reported to the police.

All eight assembly members knew someone who had been attacked by a partner and five knew someone who had been sexually assualted and had not reported it to the police.

The politics that takes place at the Assembly, at Holyrood and at Westminster does not take place in a different sphere from the frighteningly everyday incidences of violence against women.

University students were also surveyed as part of the research, uncovering widespread sexual and domestic violence and confirming trends identified three years ago by Amnesty, of retrograde but widespread assumptions about women being to blame for their own rape:

A third also believed a woman was totally or partially responsible for being raped or sexually assaulted if she was drunk or had been flirtatious, and a quarter thought she was in some way to blame if she walked alone in a deserted area.

Amnesty and the NUS described those statistics as a “shocking level of tolerance for sexual violence”.

More on this issue:

Julie Bindel points out this is yet more evidence rape is not committed by a small number of derranged men. Only read the comments if you’ve not eaten recently.

Unity suggests lobbying local authorities on why services for victims of sexual assault are so low down their priority list.