A national survey conducted by VicHealth has found that “one in five Australians believe drunk women ‘partly responsible’ for rape”.
The poll surveyed over 17,500 people via phone and found that one in six people believe that that when women say no to sex, they mean yes.
“We are really concerned about the number of people – men and women – who still believe that rape and physical violence are justifiable, and that women are often partly to blame. A culture that excuses rape and violence is one that allows it to happen,” VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said.
Given that younger people are generally more open to sexuality and human rights we would think they would be more educated on issues regarding sexual assault… Right?
Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 generally had poorer attitudes about sexual assault.
“VicHealth believes we need to focus our efforts on the younger generation to teach them how to nurture equal, caring, respectful partnerships throughout their lives. All women deserve to be respected as men’s equals and to be safe, but sadly this is not the case for so many in Australia right now.”
It’s not only our attitudes towards sexual assault that is alarming, but the ever occurring untrue myths that perpetuate falsities surrounding rape, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Such myths, including that men rape because they can’t control their need for sex, demonstrate an abysmal societal understanding of the nature of violence. Violence is a choice. It is always a crime, and it is never excusable.
This is incredibly eye opening and downright frightening in terms of the culture surrounding victim blaming. This survey highlights the need in a shift in the way we understand rape and its consequences, but also in the way we educate our young people on sexual assault and harassment to combat this negative stigma.
The main influence on people’s attitudes to violence against women is their understanding of the issue and in turn, how supportive they are of gender equality. And we cannot change preconceived notions of sexual assault and violence without establishing proper education and awareness.
What do you think of this survey?
Should we have a right to be worried about the current attitudes surround sexual assault?