ITV's Loose Women slammed for 'is it ever a woman's fault if she is raped' poll
Published 01/09/2015 | 16:59
ITV panel show Loose Women has faced a backlash after running a poll asking whether it is "ever a woman's fault if she is raped".
The vote, posed by panellists Ruth Langsford, June Sarpong, Nadia Sawalha and Janet Street-Porter, came in today's episode of the ITV talk show - which has returned from its summer break.
It followed comments made by Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who told the Sunday Times that victims have to "take responsibility". She also said: "If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk? Who else's fault can it be?"
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, who 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," the organisation added.
Viewers took to Twitter to express their anger at the show, calling it "unacceptable" and "dangerous".
Ellie Mae O'Hagan wrote: "I mean, that Loose Women poll is a more disastrous attempt to engage with the public than Andy Burnham's leadership campaign."
Mrs TeePot tweeted: "People make me sick. @loosewomen are asking if it's ever the rape victims fault? That's not even a question, that's just offensive and awful."
Nicola Mitchell posted: "Dear @loose women it is NEVER ok to ASK if a woman is at fault for rape. Only the rapists are responsible for raping, period."
Louise Whitehead added: "I see Loose Women have stooped to an all time low today. Hope they're all riddled with shame."
Viewer Grace Richards, from Wallingham, has even set up a campaign on Change.org, asking ITV to "cancel Loose Women for their continued sexism and victim blaming".
A spokeswoman for ITV's Loose Women defended the poll, saying: "Loose Women is a daily talk show centred around topical debate, and this online poll and the discussion on today's Loose Women panel was directly linked to a recent news story."