Scotland has a serious problem with attitudes towards violence against women. If that was ever in doubt, today saw the findings of the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey released, which reveals that a substantial proportion of the country are still – sadly – struggling to grasp that a woman is never, ever to blame for being a victim of rape or domestic violence. In results described as “depressing but unsurprising” by Scottish Women’s Aid, 42% of people still apportion some level of blame to a women if she’s raped while “revealing clothing on a night out”, and 40% if she’s drunk. The survey – based on around 1,500 in depth interviews – also found that one in 20 people believe a women is entirely to blame if raped while drunk.
The findings act as a stark reminder as to why events which take a stand against rape myths, rape culture and violence against women are more important than ever. That was the message from this evening’s Reclaim the Night march in Glasgow’s West End, where hundreds turned out on Wednesday evening, chanting “Whatever we wear, whereever we go, yes means yes and no means no” and “whose streets? our streets”. A range of feminist, women’s and student groups were in attendance at the demonstration, including a sizeable showing for the pro-sex worker’s rights bloc, who marched under red umbrellas. They had some great signs that we didn’t manage to get pictures of, but which you can see here.
Reclaim the Night marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.