9/30/2008

No excusing rape

A report by Amnesty International revealed a dangerous and disturbing aspect about the student psyche in the 6 counties. The report did not concern the pertinent issues of binge drinking or anti-social behaviour, but rather the very real issue of rape.

The report found that many male students in the 6 counties felt that in rape cases the female was in some part to blame. They evinced a belief in a link between flirting and rape. This is disturbing and opprobrious at the same time. It is wholly unacceptable to attribute the blame for rape to the victim. To do so embarks on a slippery slope of gradually criminalising the victim.

Whilst I acknowledge that some girls do dress and behave in a very sexually provocative manner this does not excuse this sick crime. I am not suggesting that no one can take a look at these girls, far from it, but rather you can not use it as an excuse for touching. The ‘she was asking for it’ line cuts no ice. I do not think it is much of a defence to say that someone was only raped because they were wearing a mini-skirt or because they were acting like a tart. Surely it is beyond the widest realms of imagination to argue that someone deserves to be raped?

Rape is a heinous crime, no half excuse or pathetic reason can diminish this fact. These excuses do nothing for the victim or their family. Will their trauma be lessened by the fact they were scantily clad? I think not.

The report also stated that 1 in 10 students put forward a belief that it was okay to use violence or acts of sexual aggression (including rape) against a partner that nags too much, refuses to have sex or flirts with another man.

It is worrying how devoid of morals students in the 6 counties appear to be. I know that it is only a small minority, but it still looks pretty grim. These people are supposed to be educated yet have the beliefs of a Neanderthal.

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