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Rape Attacks Blamed On Drunk, Flirty Women By One In 12 People, According To Statistics

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Around one in 12 people believe sexual assault and rape victims are to blame if they are either drunk, under the influence of drugs or flirtatious with the offender.

Some 8% of people think victims are responsible when they are under the influence of drugs, while around 6% believe victims are to blame when they are drunk.

And 7% think victims are responsible when they are attacked by someone they have been flirting heavily with beforehand, the Office for National Statistics said.

date rape

The figures show one in 12 blame rape victims for being drunk or too flirtatious

The figures were included within a breakdown of violent and sexual crime in England and Wales, which shows violent incidents have halved since 1995 to 2.1 million incidents in 2011/12.

A Rape Crisis spokesman told The Huffington Post UK: "The statistics are interesting and it does look like attitudes have improved as previous research suggested that one in three thought the victim was somehow to blame.

"But we must be careful, because these are the people who make up juries. Only when everyone understands and believes that only the perpetrator is to blame, will we be winning.

"It is worth repeating, 'I may be stark naked, off my face and lying on a park bench - but he made the choice to rape me.'"

The figures were released ahead of next week's One Billion Rising campaign events against violence against women and girls.

Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of Nia, a charity which runs services to combat violence against women and children, told HuffPost UK: "We see this kind of attitude time and time again. They fly in the face of everything we know about rape and violence.

"Women are most likely to be raped by someone they know. Women are more likely to be murdered by someone they know. But we should still be challenging opinions, by talking about the real causes."

While the level of violent incidents has fallen since 1995, the ONS noted "no statistically significant change" in the level of sexual assault and domestic abuse since 2008/09.

The ONS said 1.2 million women and 800,000 men suffered domestic abuse in England and Wales in the last year, equal to 7% of women and 5% of men.

Females aged 16-19 or 20-24 were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault, the survey said.

Elsewhere, the ONS said women who were separated had the highest risk of domestic abuse in the last year - one in five - compared with other groups by marital status.

The pattern was slightly different for sexual assault, the ONS said, with single women and separated women being more likely to be a victim than those who were married.

Women and men with a long-term illness or disability were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse in the last year when compared with those without.

Women with a degree or diploma were less likely than women with no qualifications or other qualifications to be a victim of domestic abuse in the last year.

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper released figures obtained through a freedom of information request revealing that up to a third of domestic incidents recorded by police forces are classified "repeat" incidents.

She said: "The scale of sexual and domestic violence is disturbingly high and demands urgent action. New data from police forces also shows much more should be done - by the Government, the police, courts and others - to tackle serial abuse.

"Yet instead, action to tackle violence against women has lost momentum after years of progress. There is a serious risk of going backwards because of things like police cuts, taking suspected rapists off the DNA database and lack of ministerial commitment."

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