Almost 1/2 Scots Blame Victim For Rape

About two-fifths of people in Scotland apportion some level of blame to a woman if she is raped when very drunk or wearing revealing clothing, according to new research.

One in 20 Scots think the woman would be "entirely to blame'' if she was sexually attacked when very drunk.

The findings also reveal stark contrasts in attitudes to rape between different social groups, with younger people significantly less likely to blame the victim for being attacked.

The statistics are contained in the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey, conducted by researchers ScotCen on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The report looked at a variety of attitudes in 2014 towards violence against women in Scotland, including domestic abuse, sexual harassment and prostitution.

Women's campaigners described the findings as "depressing but unsurprising''.

The Scottish Government said funding to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls is at record levels.

As part of the research on "myths'' about rape, respondents to the survey were asked: "How much, if at all, is a woman to blame if she wears very revealing clothing on a night-out and is then raped'' or ``is very drunk and is raped''?

People were invited to answer on a scale from one to seven where one was "not at all to blame'' and seven was "entirely to blame''.

In both cases, a majority felt the woman was not at all to blame.

Some 58% said this of the woman who wore revealing clothing while 60% said the same of the woman who was very drunk.

Most of the remaining respondents put their answer in categories two and seven, meaning they would apportion some degree of blame to the victim.

Two per cent said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Overall, 70% of those aged 18 to 29 thought the woman wearing revealing clothing was "not at all to blame'' for being raped, compared with 38% of those aged over 65.

On the issue of revenge porn, 88% of respondents said they thought an ex-boyfriend posting naked photos online was ``very seriously wrong'' while 87% thought it would cause ``a great deal'' of harm.

A higher proportion felt it was "very seriously wrong'' for a man to get angry and slap his wife, at 92%, compared with a wife slapping her husband - 81%.

On the issue of prostitution, 34% of respondents thought paying for sex was "always wrong'' while 10% thought it was "not wrong at all''.

Susan Reid, research director at ScotCen, said: "Today's findings show that although most people in Scotland feel that violence against women is wrong, views vary considerably depending on the circumstances.

"Changing people's attitudes is essential to eradicating violence against women and girls; this report highlights how far we still have to go.''

Scottish Women's Aid chief executive Dr Marsha Scott said: "The results of the survey make for depressing but unsurprising reading, given what we know about the pervasive influence of sexism in Scottish society.''

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil reaffirmed the Scottish Government's commitment to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls, on the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women.

At the start of 16 days of action on violence against women and girls around the world, he said: "We have made significant steps in taking forward our commitment to achieve gender equality and prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.

"Funding is at record levels which is supporting initiatives all across Scotland to help make a real difference.''

Labour MSP Elaine Murray said: "Today's survey results shows our society still has a some way to go in its understanding of rape and domestic abuse, and is timely given start of the annual 16 days of action on violence against women.

"Government, media and all have a part to play in educating society to see women's rights as human rights.

"Every 10 minutes a woman reports a domestic abuse incident in Scotland. It is only by changing attitudes that we will be able to bring that to an end and eradicate violence against women and girls.''

One in 20 Scots think the woman would be "entirely to blame'' if she was sexually attacked when very drunk.

The findings also reveal stark contrasts in attitudes to rape between different social groups, with younger people significantly less likely to blame the victim for being attacked.

The statistics are contained in the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey, conducted by researchers ScotCen on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The report looked at a variety of attitudes in 2014 towards violence against women in Scotland, including domestic abuse, sexual harassment and prostitution.

Women's campaigners described the findings as "depressing but unsurprising''.

The Scottish Government said funding to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls is at record levels.

As part of the research on "myths'' about rape, respondents to the survey were asked: "How much, if at all, is a woman to blame if she wears very revealing clothing on a night-out and is then raped'' or ``is very drunk and is raped''?

People were invited to answer on a scale from one to seven where one was "not at all to blame'' and seven was "entirely to blame''.

In both cases, a majority felt the woman was not at all to blame.

Some 58% said this of the woman who wore revealing clothing while 60% said the same of the woman who was very drunk.

Most of the remaining respondents put their answer in categories two and seven, meaning they would apportion some degree of blame to the victim.

Two per cent said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Overall, 70% of those aged 18 to 29 thought the woman wearing revealing clothing was "not at all to blame'' for being raped, compared with 38% of those aged over 65.

On the issue of revenge porn, 88% of respondents said they thought an ex-boyfriend posting naked photos online was ``very seriously wrong'' while 87% thought it would cause ``a great deal'' of harm.

A higher proportion felt it was "very seriously wrong'' for a man to get angry and slap his wife, at 92%, compared with a wife slapping her husband - 81%.

On the issue of prostitution, 34% of respondents thought paying for sex was "always wrong'' while 10% thought it was "not wrong at all''.

Susan Reid, research director at ScotCen, said: "Today's findings show that although most people in Scotland feel that violence against women is wrong, views vary considerably depending on the circumstances.

"Changing people's attitudes is essential to eradicating violence against women and girls; this report highlights how far we still have to go.''

Scottish Women's Aid chief executive Dr Marsha Scott said: "The results of the survey make for depressing but unsurprising reading, given what we know about the pervasive influence of sexism in Scottish society.''

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil reaffirmed the Scottish Government's commitment to tackling all forms of violence against women and girls, on the International Day for the elimination of Violence against Women.

At the start of 16 days of action on violence against women and girls around the world, he said: "We have made significant steps in taking forward our commitment to achieve gender equality and prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.

"Funding is at record levels which is supporting initiatives all across Scotland to help make a real difference.''

Labour MSP Elaine Murray said: "Today's survey results shows our society still has a some way to go in its understanding of rape and domestic abuse, and is timely given start of the annual 16 days of action on violence against women.

"Government, media and all have a part to play in educating society to see women's rights as human rights.

"Every 10 minutes a woman reports a domestic abuse incident in Scotland. It is only by changing attitudes that we will be able to bring that to an end and eradicate violence against women and girls.''

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