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Poll: Most Czechs say some rape victims are to blame too

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Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – Most Czechs (63 percent) consider a woman to be also partly responsible for being raped for at least one of the following reasons: she flirted, was drunk, did not clearly say No, wore sexy clothes or walked alone in a deserted place, according to a poll presented at a conference yesterday.
“The results have been an unpleasant surprise for us,” Gabriela Bartova, from the Amnesty International (AI) group, said at the conference about rape in the Czech Republic.
This atmosphere in society is one of the reasons why rape victims only seldom report the crime, according to experts.
The poll was conducted within AI´s campaign Stop violence against women. The Focus polling agency addressed 1040 people aged over 18 in August.
If a woman flirted or was drunk, 45 percent and 43 percent, respectively, considered her partly responsible for being the victim of rape. If a woman was provocatively dressed or if she did not clearly say No to a man, 37 percent considered her co-responsible. The view that the woman held part of the responsibility was shared by 35 percent if she walked alone in a deserted place and by 28 percent if she had many sexual partners.
Deputy Human Rights Minister Martina Stepankova said the police registered two or three cases of rape a day, which was about one tenth of all cases.
Stepankova said men, too, were victims of rape, though far less often.
The total number of rapes is estimated at 5000 to 10,000 a year. Only 2 percent of the respondents expected so many rapes to occur. According to some estimates, up to 20,000 rapes occur every year.
Approximately half of the people believed that the figure was lower than 1000.
Nine percent said the police register less than one tenth of the rapes.
Most people (55 percent) believe that the rapist is usually unknown to the victim.
“Rape is not committed somewhere in the street, but most often in the family – by the closest persons,” said Jindriska Krpalkova, head of the government council for prevention of domestic violence and violence against women.
Bartova said the poll showed that strong stereotypes can be seen irrespective of age, education or gender. The stereotypes were the strongest among young men (18-35 years), elderly people (over 55) and people with lower education.
Bartova said previously the women often contact neither the police nor an expert offering aid because they fear that other people would think it was actually their own fault.
Experts say the blaming of rape victims is one of the reasons why the victims do not address the police. Moreover, police officers, judges, social workers, doctors and nurses do not communicate with the victims well enough. Another factor is that the rapist is often a friend or an acquaintance.
Lawyer Klara Kalibova, from the In Iustitia group, said many rape victims did not succeed in court, for example, waitresses or those who were drunk or who were raped by their former partner.
kva/dr/rtj

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