ITV apologises for Loose Women poll asking if rape 'is ever a woman's fault'

The broadcaster said it accepted the wording of the online poll was 'misjudged' and apologised for 'causing offence'

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The Independent Culture

ITV has apologised for a Loose Women poll published online that asked whether female victims were ever to blame for rape.

Viewers were asked to vote whether “it is ever a woman’s fault if she is raped” after a discussion on the panel show following comments made by Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who said women who dress provocatively “entice rapists”.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Loose Women said: “Loose Women is a daily talk show centred around topical debate and this discussion, linked to a recent news story, involved a full and frank range of views from the panellists.

“We always want to know what our viewers think about topical issues, however, we accept that the wording of the online poll was misjudged and we apologise for any offence caused.”

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Chrissie Hynde's comments on rape have provoked strong responses

An introduction to the poll on the Loose Women website said: “After Pretenders singer Chriss Hynde’s comments - we’re asking is it ever a woman’s fault if she is raped?” A overwhelming 88 per cent of respondents said no.

Katie Russell, the national spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England & Wales, said the poll “reinforced rape myths”, calling it “ill-considered, insensitive and insulting.”

In a statement to The Guardian, she said: “Legally, not to mention morally, rape is always 100% the responsibility of its perpetrator and no one else.

 

“A programme like Loose Women could choose to use its high profile to raise awareness and understanding of rape, its impacts and prevalence, and to support and encourage survivors to seek services like those Rape Crisis offers.

“Instead they’ve reinforced myths and stereotypes with this ill-considered, insensitive and insulting poll.”

Ofcom confirmed it has received 63 complaints about the poll. A spokesman for the broadcasting watchdog said: "We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not."

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