Richard Dawkins recently posted an extremely controversial tweet about rape.
Speaking in a way that he deemed ‘logical’ – but many Twitter users deemed insulting (see below) – Dawkins said: “Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”
As far as HuffPost UK Lifestyle are concerned, there is not, nor should there be, a distinction when it comes to rape. Rape is rape – and it’s a terrible crime whatever the circumstances.
We wanted to highlight a thing or two to Richard Dawkins, before he goes shooting his mouth off again…
1) In January 2013, the Ministry of Justice, Office for National Statistics and Home Office released its first ever joint official statistics bulletin on sexual violence.
It revealed there are 69,000 female and 9,000 male rape victims per year.
2) The same report showed around 1 in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.
3) Figures show around 85% of women who are raped or sexually assaulted know their attacker prior to the incident.
4) Charity Rape Crisis say only around 15% of women and girls who experience sexual violence ever report the crime to the police.
5) Victims have said they worried rape was “too embarrassing”, “too trivial” or a “private/family matter”, which stopped them from reporting the crime.
6) It has been reported that fewer than one rape victim in 30 can expect to see her or his attacker brought to justice.
7) As Rape Crisis points out: “100% of the responsibility for any act of sexual violence lies with its perpetrator. There is no excuse for sexual violence – it can never be justified, it can never be explained away and there is no context in which it is valid, understandable or acceptable.”
8) Government reports show the long term effects of rape on its victims can include depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, drug and substance misuse, self-harm and suicide.
9) A study by NSPCC showed that a third of teenage girls in a relationship suffer an unwanted sexual act.
10) Rape Crisis (quite rightly) say: “Rape is a terrifying, violent crime that can have devastating short- and long-term impacts on a survivor’s life, regardless of the circumstances in which it takes place.”