Tuesday 25 October 2016

'If I'm walking around in underwear and I'm drunk? Who else's fault can it be?' - Chrissie Hynde slammed over rape comments

Published 30/08/2015 | 10:21

Chrissie Hynde attending the NME Awards 2015 with Austin, Texas at the O2 Brixton Academy, London.
Chrissie Hynde attending the NME Awards 2015 with Austin, Texas at the O2 Brixton Academy, London.

Singer Chrissie Hynde has been criticised for saying that it can be a woman's fault if she is raped.

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The Pretenders rocker, 63, said she blames herself for being forced to perform sexual acts under the threat of violence.

Aged 21, the star crossed paths with members of one of Ohio's leather-clad gangs who promised to take her to a party - but instead took her to an empty house, yet she claims to take "full responsibility".

She told the Sunday Times Magazine: "Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can't f*** about with people, especially people who wear 'I Heart Rape' and 'On Your Knees' badges... those motorcycle gangs, that's what they do.

"You can't paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive..."

When asked whether the gang took advantage of her vulnerability, she replied: "If you play with fire you get burnt. It's not any secret, is it?"

Hynde went on to say that women who dress provocatively while walking down the street drunk are also to blame if they are attacked.

"If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk? Who else's fault can it be?"

She explained: "If I'm walking around and I'm very modestly dressed and I'm keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I'd say that's his fault. But if I'm being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who's already unhinged - don't do that. Come on! That's just common sense. You know, if you don't want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so you can't run from him.

"If you're wearing something that says 'Come and f*** me', you'd better be good on your feet... I don't think I'm saying anything controversial am I?"

But her comments were condemned by the charity Victim Support who said that victims "should not blame themselves".

Lucy Hastings, the charity's director, said: "Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered - regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable.

"They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack - often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions.

"It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organisations so they can get the help and support they need."

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