More depressing evidence of rape victim blaming

A survey of just over 1,000 Londoners found depressingly high levels of victim-blaming.

The BBC reports that more than half of those surveyed said they believed “there were some circumstances when a rape victim should accept responsibility for an attack”.

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.

Elizabeth Harrison from Haven said there was never an excuse for forcing a woman to do something she did not want to.

“Clearly, women are in a position where they need to take responsibility for themselves – but whatever you wear and whatever you do does not give somebody else the right to rape you.

“It’s important people take the time to actually look at what they are doing and make sure the person they are with is actually wanting to go ahead with what they are proposing.”

Moreover, the survey found a high percentage of people reported they had been “made to have sex when they didn’t want to”:

And one in five adults had been in a situation where they were made to have sex when they did not want to. This had happened to more women (23%) than men (20%).

I’d like to say all this is shocking, but is it really? Even the police’s anti-rape campaigns lapse into victim-blaming, and look what happens in the courts and the media.

As Melissa McEwan said some time ago but still holds very true:

Quite literally, the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Since they don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple, that’s not a very reasonable expectation, is it?

Enough victim blaming. Enough.

Photo by Peter John Chen, shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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