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Loose Women could face Ofcom probe after rape poll complaints

Published 09/09/2015

The Loose Women panel show faced a backlash after running a poll asking whether it is 'ever a woman's fault if she is raped'
The Loose Women panel show faced a backlash after running a poll asking whether it is 'ever a woman's fault if she is raped'

Loose Women could face an investigation from Ofcom after 74 people complained to the broadcasting regulator regarding a poll about female rape victims.

The TV watchdog is currently assessing the complaints and is expected to make a decision on whether to launch an investigation on Monday.

The ITV panel show faced a backlash after running a poll asking whether it is "ever a woman's fault if she is raped" on the September 1 episode of the talk show.

The vote followed comments made by Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who told the Sunday Times that victims have to "take responsibility".

The viewers' poll was an overwhelming 88% for no, with only 12% voting yes, and was criticised by viewers as well as help centre Rape Crisis.

Viewers took to Twitter to express their anger at the show, calling it "unacceptable" and "dangerous" while Rape Crisis said they were "horrified" by the votes.

The organisation tweeted: "Loose Women have today polled the nation on whether rape is ever a woman's fault. We cannot support such mindless victim blaming. To clarify our position - the reality - rape is NEVER a woman's fault. Rape is the fault of the rapist, no matter the situation.

"We are extremely angry & hurt by @loosewomen & hope they will say sorry & educate viewers because such polls are HARMFUL TO WOMEN."

ITV later apologised to viewers, admitting the poll was "misjudged".

"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," a spokeswoman for the show said.

"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."

An Ofcom spokesman said: "We are assessing 74 complaints about this programme before deciding whether to investigate or not."

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