Short skirts, high heels risk rape: UK lawmaker

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 10:45 hrs

London: Tory MP, Richard Graham, has come under fire for saying that women are putting themselves at risk of rape by wearing short skirts and high heels.

Graham's comments sparked outrage among women's groups, who insist that if a woman becomes a victim of rape it is not because of her dress style, reports the Daily Mail.

The MP for Gloucester said that although there is heavy police presence, life doesn't give girls full protection from predators all the time; one has to look after herself.

He said it is not about the impact of a woman's clothes on a potential predator- it is about whether the clothes she is wearing makes it harder to get away from a predator.

Graham's comments come just days after actress Joanna Lumley said women should dress demurely to avoid being 'raped or robbed'.

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Rape Crisis Centre said rape was the crime, not drunkenness, and that the offence was 'stimulated by desire for power and to humiliate and degrade'. She added that rape has got nothing to do with how a woman is dressed or whether she is drunk.

Vivienne Hayes, of the Women's Resource Centre said such comments frighteningly normalise victim-blaming. They reallocate blame from the perpetrator to the victim. The problem is not female vulnerability but a macho culture, which produces the notion of male entitlement - a culture which consistently fails women through disbelief, victim-blaming and failure to investigate, she added.

Chief Inspector Richard Burge, of Gloucestershire Police, agreed being drunk could put people at risk. He said they would appeal to everyone not to drink so much as excessive alcohol can make them vulnerable.

More from Sify: