More than a quarter of Europeans believe rape is sometimes justified, study finds

27 per cent of people living in Europe believe rape is acceptable under some circumstances, most commonly citing drug or alcohol intake, 'revealing' clothes or going home alone with an attacker

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The Independent Online

A quarter of people living in Europe believe rape is justified in some circumstances, research has suggested.

The figures have been published in a report commissioned by the European Union nto gender-based violence. Researchers asked 30,000 citizens of different EU countries whether they thought forcing someone to have sex against their will was acceptable under a number of circumstances, such as if a person is wearing “revealing” clothes or if they are incapacitated with alcohol consumption.

As shown in the chart above, created for the Independent by Statista, 27 per cent of respondents across the EU thought forced sexual intercourse was acceptable in at least one set of circumstances. 12 per cent said it was acceptable if the victim had taken drink or drugs, 11 per cent said it was acceptable if the victim voluntarily went home with someone, 10 per cent said it was acceptable if they didn’t clearly say no or physically fight back.

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The figures vary by country, with 60 per cent of people living in Romania telling researchers that they felt it was acceptable in at least one set of circumstances. 

Among UK respondents, 22 per cent of people think the criminal offence is acceptable in some circumstances, with 12 per cent citing a victim’s drink or drug intake as a reason.

It is estimated that around 1 in 5 women are raped at some point in their lives, while around one in 71 men will be raped.

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