5 reasons females who believe girls in provocative clothing are to blame for sexual assaults are wrong

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Kettle Mag: Amy Jo Taylor
Image: Flickr/Cmcarterss
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A feminist charity have release a survey report, stating that 1 in 3 women believe those who get drunk or wear provocative clothes are partly to blame if they are victims of sexual assault.

The Fawcett Society commissioned the survey of 8,000 British adults, and found almost 2 fifths of men thought a woman in that position should share some of the blame. They commented that the report showed “disturbingly high” levels of hostility towards women.

The report showed a reflection of the new found ‘lad culture’ as 1 in 5 men aged 25-34 and 14 per cent of 18-24 year olds said they did not want women in their lives to have equality, and a similar proportion of males stated that they believed equality has gone too far.

So why are these men and women wrong?

Victim blaming

Rape is one of the few crimes where the victim is most likely to be blamed, often being accused of being drunk, dressing provocatively or flirting.

Chief executive of the Fawcett Society, Sam Smethers said: “I can think of no other crime where we are so ready to blame the victim, but here women are being held responsible for their behaviour of their attacker.”

Victim blaming has become increasingly popular, even in unlikely cases. Victims can be blamed of being ‘overly flirty,’ ‘slightly drunk,’ or ‘asking for it,’ even if they are simply sitting in a bar.

Violent Criminals

The average rapist is a violent criminal who craves complete power over his victim. Sometimes he gets a sexual charge out of it and sometimes he doesn’t. It has little to do with what a woman looks like and everything to do with violent, criminal tendencies.

Whilst there is no image of a typical rapist, there are many tendencies which link them together, this is commonly being violent. The average rapist is a violent criminal who craves complete power over his victim.

Environments

Whilst the media tend to focus on rape cases which happen on the street or at colleges where many young women tend to be, 1 in 4 rapes actually take place in the victim’s home. In these cases the woman’s clothing wouldn’t affect her attacker choosing her.

2 in 10 cases happen at the home of a neighbour, relative or friend. Much like above, these are less likely to be motivated by provocative clothing but rather a premeditated attack.

Less than 5 per cent involve provocative behaviour

In 2006 a Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only 4.4 per cent of all reported rape cases actually involved provocative behaviour from the victim. This included cases where the victim was seen to be overly flirtatious or wearing provocative clothing.

The study also found that most convicted rapists did not remember what their victims were wearing, supporting the knowledge that provocative clothing is not to blame.

Rape motivations

There are four key motivations for rapists, none of which focus on the clothing of their victim. Sexual gratification is when the rapist is motivated by knowing the victim or using a date rape drug. Whereas anger rape is not premeditated and is violent and spurred by anger and resentment towards women.

Power rape is spurred by the need to control and dominate the victim. Whereas, stadistic rape is premeditated and ritualized, the victims are frequently subjected to degradation, mutilation, torture or murder.

Rapists tend to fall into four key categories, but none of which involve the victim wearing provocative clothing. 

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Currently in my third year of studying journalism at Southampton Solent University. Strong interest in health, entertainment and womens rights.