Cheltenham's Former Mayor, Barbara Driver, Slammed For Saying 'When Rape Is Inevitable, Lie Back And Enjoy It'

BBC News

A former mayor has apologised after making "repulsive" comments about rape.

Cheltenham Borough Councillor Barbara Driver faced calls for resignation after equating the "inevitability" of the building of new houses with rape.

“There is a saying and I am going to say it: When rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it,” she said.

Councillor Peter Jeffries, Cheltenham Borough Council’s lead member for safeguarding, described Mrs Drivers’ comment as “repulsive” and “atrocious”.

He said: “I think she let herself down and she let the council down.

“It was an atrocious thing to say in the middle of a meeting about housing," he told the Gloucestershire Echo.

Driver has since written an open letter to Cheltenham Borough Council in which she said she realised her remark was “completely inappropriate and thoughtless and should not have been said”.

Karen Clarke, from the Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC), condemned the remarks.

She told the BBC: "Making these comments, that have nothing to do with what she was talking about, is quite shocking.

"Rape has a devastating impact and there's no possibility that anyone could ever lie back and enjoy it.

"When people in positions of power make throw away and flippant comments like this it perpetuates the myths around rape.

"Someone in a position of authority should know better. Apologies are not enough."

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