A third of women believe drunk girls in short skirts are partly to blame for sexual assaults

‘It reveals just how deep-seated our readiness to blame women is’

One in three women believe that women who get too drunk or dress provocatively are partly to blame if they’re raped or sexually assaulted, says a new report.

The depressing new findings come from a survey on the attitudes of 8,000 British adults, which also found that 40 per cent of men think that a woman who is sexually assaulted is partially to blame. It was commissioned by The Fawcett Society, who said their findings revealed “disturbingly high” hostility to gender equality and women, and was reflective of the “lad culture” women were forced to experience on a daily basis.

One fifth of men aged 25-34, and 14 per cent aged 18-24 told the study said they didn’t want women to have equality, because it would make their own lives worse, while a similar amount said they believe equality has already gone too far.


On the results, Chief Executive 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. It is quite extraordinary and reveals just how deep-seated our readiness to blame women runs within our culture.”

She also called for “education not blame” and said that we should introduce compulsory sex and relationship classes in all schools.

But while these results are depressing, it’s not all bad. The survey also showed some evidence that younger men are becoming more and more likely to describe themselves as feminist and the majority of them consider themselves allies, indicating that our generation is becoming extremely polarised on the issue of gender equality.