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Time to redress gender divide in rape debate

IN the recent correspondence about rape, there seems to be a gender divide, which I'd like to redress.

The men don't appear to me to be suggesting that rape is other than a heinous crime; they merely point out that women can take steps to reduce their risk. I agree.

Anyone is entitled to dress as they please. But if someone deliberately sets out to become incapably drunk (as some do), they are increasing the likelihood that ill will befall them – either criminally, or accidentally.

Whether they are raped, robbed, or hit by a bus, they will be understandably shocked. But they are not entitled to be surprised.

There may be satisfaction to be derived from merely apportioning blame, but it is more constructive to consider how potential victims can make themselves safer.

Saying that young women do not owe themselves a duty of care is demeaning to them and increases the chance of their coming to harm.

SUE ALEXANDER

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