1 in 12 people say drunk or flirtatious women likelier to be rape victims

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 06:58 hrs

London: One in 12 people blame rape victims for their own fate if they flirt with their attacker or if they are drunk at the time they are raped, according to a new survey.

Around 2 million people suffered domestic abuse in England or Wales last year, according to statistics - down by half since 1995.

The group most at risk from sexual assault and violence consists of women under the age of 25, with women who have separated from their husbands also disproportionately likely to be victims.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that six percent of people think rape victims are to blame when they are drunk, and eight percent criticise victims who are under the influence of drugs, the Daily Mail reported.

Seven percent believe that victims of sexual assault should be held responsible if the attacker is someone they have previously been flirting with.

The statistics were released as part of a survey of violent and sexual crime in England and Wales.

The ONS said 1.2 million women and 800,000 men were victims of domestic abuse in the last year - equal to seven percent of women and five percent of men.

Females aged 16-19 or 20-24 were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault, the survey said.

The ONS said women who were separated had the highest risk of domestic abuse in the last year, with one in five falling victim to an attack.

The pattern was slightly different for sexual assault, with single women and separated women being more likely to be a victim than those who were married.

People with a long-term illness or disability were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse in the last year than others, while highly educated women were less likely to be attacked.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper released separate figures revealing that up to a third of domestic incidents recorded by police forces as repeat incidents. 

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