Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

The Ched Evans case shows why we must start talking about consent by @sianushka

There's a lot to be said about the Ched Evans case: its cultural significance, the legal wrangling around using a woman's sexual history as evidence, the impact it has had and could have on a woman's willingness to report rape, the list goes on. But perhaps most importantly it revealed a lot about our attitudes towards consent.

In order to get a guilty verdict on rape, our legal system demands proof that an alleged victim did not consent and that the alleged perpetrator "does not reasonably believe his alleged victim was consenting." The problem is that our collective understanding of consent and what it looks like is fundamentally weak, and that ultimately impacts women's access to justice.

It's clear that there is a crisis around consent in the UK. A survey published by Havens in 2010 demonstrated some deeply troubling attitudes towards consent in young people aged 18-25, including:

  • 53% of young adults would not assume the person they are intimate with doesn't want to have sex with them if being physically pushed away
  • 43% would not assume the person they are intimate with doesn't want to have sex when they say "no"
  • 63% would not assume their partner does not want to have to sex with them if they are crying
  • 46% of men surveyed did not consider it rape if you change your mind and the other person continues with sex  ...

 

The full text of this article was published by politics.co.uk on 18.10.16. You can find the article here.

 

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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