Women who are raped: Still asking for it?

A new U.K. study shows that a third of people hold women responsible for rapes.

Published November 21, 2005 4:04PM (EST)

On a break from jury duty, I spotted this horrifying story in the Guardian about a new Amnesty International report showing that in the U.K., one in three people interviewed believe that a woman who behaves flirtatiously is partially responsible should she be raped. About a third of people also believe the woman is partly or wholly to blame for getting raped if she is drunk. And a quarter of the people interviewed believe she was asking for it if she was wearing sexy clothing. It's hard to pick the most troubling statistic in this report, but I'm going to go with this final one -- that "nearly 15 percent of respondents thought a woman would be partly responsible for being raped if she was known to have many sexual partners, and 8 percent [thought she would be] totally responsible."

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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