154,917 registered members
Shock findings in NI rape survey
[Posted: Tue 30/09/2008 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Almost half of college students in Northern Ireland believe that a woman is partially or totally responsible for being raped if she has behaved in a flirtatious manner, a new survey has shown.
Over 700 students were questioned about their attitudes and experiences of violence against women. The findings indicated a ‘blame culture’ towards women when it came to the issue of sexual violence.
Altogether, 46% believed that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she behaved flirtatiously, while 30% felt that a woman was partially or totally responsible if she was wearing ‘sexy or revealing clothes’.
According to Amnesty International, which commissioned the survey, the findings show that there are some ‘extremely disturbing attitudes swirling around campuses’.
“It’s shocking that so many students lay the blame for being raped or assaulted at the feet of women themselves. If we are going to break a cycle of violence against women in Northern Ireland, we need to start by challenging attitudes amongst students and the population at large,” said Amnesty Northern Ireland programme director, Patrick Corrigan.
He insisted that as part of an integrated strategy to end all forms of violence against women, the Northern Ireland Executive should consider a comprehensive campaign aimed at preventing violence and challenging prejudicial attitudes.
Commenting on the findings, Katie Morgan, president of the National Union of Students (NUS) and Union of Students in Ireland (USI), said that the results ‘chime with what I have seen with my own eyes on campus’.
“We’ve long been calling for better services for students who have suffered violence. The universities and colleges need to think again about the welfare of their students and in tackling the suggestion that a woman can be responsible for being raped,” Ms Morgan said.
Amnesty’s survey also revealed that domestic violence against female students is apparently widespread in Northern Ireland. In fact, four in 10 students reported knowing a female student who had been assaulted by her partner. Meanwhile one in 10 local students said they considered violence acceptable against a girlfriend who nags, flirts with other men or refuses to have sex.
The survey also found that three in four students did not know what advice to give a woman who had suffered domestic abuse, with 88% stating that they were unaware of the availability of any support services on campus for student victims of domestic violence.
The results of the survey have prompted Amnesty International and local students unions to launch their own campaign on campus to challenge sexist attitudes. The poster, leaflet and drinks mat campaign will be rolled out in the University of Ulster and Queen's University Belfast student unions over the coming weeks.
Amnesty has also written to the heads of Northern Ireland colleges and the Northern Ireland Executive encouraging them to take more action to tackle violence against women students.
|Patricia(GMC11099) Posted: 30/09/2008 16:16|
|And there is no point pretending that the drink culture does not have something to do with all this! Extremely disturbing is putting it mildly. Again, these students who see violence as somehow normal, what kind of home background did they come from? Evidently, they see violence against women as normal for the simple reason that they saw their own mothers or sisters being treated badly. P|
|k Posted: 06/10/2008 23:55|
|Patricia im glad to see that you are outraged but i must disagree with your comment. i hardly think that 46% of these students "saw there own mothers and sisters being treated badly" and if they had dont you think that they would perhaps be a little more sympathetic towards women as apposed to blaming them? and what on earth has drink to do with it?? the views that the students have exhibited comes from society as a whole, to change this sad fact i believe you have to reach future society at its roots, children. as does the organisation 18&U (www.violenceispreventable.org.uk)|
|To join the discussion, register by clicking here|