Fact: No woman asks or deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted. Rapists use a variety of excuses to attempt to discredit the women they rape and to justify their crime. If a person is unconscious or their judgement is impaired by alcohol or drugs, legally they are unable to give consent. Having non-consensual sex with a person who is intoxicated is sexual assault.
Often a rape case is defined more by the woman’s character than by what has happened to her. Newspapers and mass media often refer to women in the roles that they have within society – ‘young mother’, ‘grandmother’, ‘doctor’s wife’ etc. If the woman’s role or social position is not seen as socially acceptable, she is often held responsible – not the rapist. For example, the original ‘Jack the Ripper’ and Sutcliffe in the late 70’s and 80’s were glorified by the press, because their victims worked in the sex industry.
The rules imposed on women’s behaviour allow rapists to shift the responsibility for rape onto women wherever possible, so that most of the perpetrators who rape are seen as victims of malicious allegations, carelessness or stupidity. There is no other crime in which so much effort is expended to make the victim appear responsible – imagine the character or financial background of a robbery victim being questioned in court.