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Thursday 19 October 2017

'George Hook needs to get off his dinosaur backside' - Rape victim criticises broadcaster for 'outrageous' and 'offensive' remarks about rape

George Hook
George Hook
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A rape victim has criticised veteran Broadcaster George Hook for "blaming rape-victims" during a segment on his show.

Speaking today on his Newstalk show, High Noon, George Hook spoke about a young girl in the UK, who was raped by a former member of the British swimteam.

"She was passed around went the story apparently. She went to bed with one guy and he went out and another guy comes in. She doesn't want to have relations with the second guy but he forced himself upon her. Awful," George Hook said.

"But when you then look deeper into the story you have to ask certain questions. Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room? She's only just barely met him. She has no idea of his health conditions, she has no idea who he is, no idea what dangers he might pose.

"But modern day social activity means that she goes back with him. Then is surprised when somebody else comes into the room and rapes her. Should she be raped? Course she shouldn't. Is she entitled to say no? Absolutely. Is the guy who came in a scumbag? Certainly. Should he go to jail? Of Course. All of those things."

George Hook than goes on to discuss the "responsibility of women".

"But is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger? You then of course read that she passed out on the toilet and when she woke up the guy was trying to rape her. There is personal responsibility because it's your daughter and my daughter. What determines the daughter who goes out, gets drunk, passes out and has strangers in her room or the daughter that stays out, stays halfway sober and comes home, I don't know. I wish I knew what the secret of parenting is.

"Is a point of responsibility the real issue?

"There is a point of responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety," George Hook concluded.

Social media users were outraged after the segment and vented their anger.

Fiona Doyle
Fiona Doyle

Rape victim, Fiona Doyle, said Mr Hook's comments were "outrageous" and "offensive".

Fiona's father Patrick O'Brien (79) was sentenced to 12 years in prison with three suspended in 2013 for the systematic rape and sexual abuse of his daughter at their home in Dun Laoghaire from 1973 to 1982.

"Victim blaming is all too familiar to women in Ireland. George is giving the message that men can do what they want and it is the drunken woman who is to blame.

"Women have the right to be drunk. They have the right to say no. They have the right to walk down the street naked if they wish. Men have no right to rape a women and people like George Hook need to stop circulating the message that women are to blame.

"What George said is that a man can't help himself if he comes across a drunk woman. It takes the responsibility off men. Men should know not to touch a woman."

Fiona said that the comments broadcast earlier today were "old fashioned" and that it brings women back centuries.

"George Hook needs to get off his dinosaur backside and see the impact of what he is saying on young women."

She added that campaigners, gardai and the rape crisis centres have been working with women to get them to come forward after a rape.

"We're working so hard to get women to stand up and come forward without thinking they are responsible.

"It's a big thing for women to blame themselves after a rape happens. It's very hard for women to get over something like that and to tell women that it's their fault is outrageous."

Fiona said that George Hook's comments will "pull out that stigma that women are responsible".

"No man has a right to touch a women. It's that simple."

If you have been affected by this issue you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 778 888

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