Loose Women poll asking if rape is 'ever a woman's fault' sparks backlash

The vote followed comments made by Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde

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The Independent Culture

Loose Women has been criticised for running a poll asking whether it is “ever a women’s fault if she is raped”.

The vote was held following a discussion on the panel show following comments made by Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde.

Herself a victim of sexual assault at the hands of an American motorcycle gang when she was 21, she told the Sunday Times victims have to “take responsibility”.

“If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk, who else's fault can it be?“ she told the newspaper.

An introduction to the poll on Loose Women’s website said Hynde had been “criticised” and went on to ask: “After Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde's comments- we're asking is it ever a woman's fault if she is raped?”

The result was an overwhelming “no” vote, with almost 88 per cent of respondents saying victims were never to blame and just 12 per cent saying they could be.

But commentators on Twitter slammed it as “unacceptable” and “dangerous”, accusing Loose Women of encouraging victim blaming.

“How in the hell did you consider this an acceptable poll to run?” one person wrote, while another argued that the same question would never be asked for other violent crimes.

One post on Twitter said: “What's the next poll: 'Is it ever a woman's fault that her fella beats her?'. Dangerous myth-propogation."

Another commenter said: “This is incredibly irresponsible and victim blaming. There must have been a better way to discuss this.”

One user attempted to sum up the discussion: “Rapists rape, rapists are at fault for raping, rapists should stop raping, just stop raping people.”

Here are some of the comments:

A spokesperson for ITV's Loose Women said: “Loose Women is a daily talk show centred around topical debate, and this online poll and the discussion on today's Loose Women panel was directly linked to a recent news story."

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