Over 1/3 of people say a victim of rape is partly responsible

Isn’t it wonderful to live in a city were there are still such high numbers of people who think that
rape victims are to blame ?

Esp when last year there was such a high number of rapes.

During the month of July, 39 women attended the Sexual Assault and Treatment Unit (SATU) at the city’s Rotunda Hospital, while 31 women were examined there in June.


The recent poll in the Irish examiner shows we have still a very long way to go.

An Irish Examiner/Red C national opinion poll on people’s attitudes to sex crimes found a core section of our society think rape victims are totally or partially responsible for being attacked.

It found:

* More than 30% think a victim is some way responsible if she flirts with a man or fails to say no clearly.

* 10% of people think the victim is entirely at fault if she has had a number of sexual partners.

* 37% think a woman who flirts extensively is at least complicit, if not completely in the wrong, if she is the victim of a sex crime.

* One in three think a woman is either partly or fully to blame if she wears revealing clothes.

* 38% believe a woman must share some of the blame if she walks through a deserted area.

The results also show that defence barristers, looking to swing the deciding three members in every 12-person jury, can exploit misgivings in certain demographics about the perceived responsibility of female victims.

Dramatic differences in empathy towards victims based on age and social class are revealed. Gender, however, had little impact.

In every category, widowed, divorced and separated people took the harshest view on the role of the female victim, compared with married or cohabiting couples.

The results of the poll support the results of the ground-breaking Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) report in 2002, which found 15% of the population believed a raped woman was not an innocent victim.

The SAVI report, which was published in partnership with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, also found 6% of women were raped at some point as adults.

Only a fraction reported the crime, as they feared they would be blamed or their claims would not be believed.

Chief executive of the DRCC Ellen O’Malley Dunlop said the findings of the Irish Examiner poll justified victims’ reluctance to come forward and further explained why less than 10% of rape allegations lead to a conviction.

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