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'Rape is never an acceptable punishment' - Rape Crisis Centres speaks on THAT Love/Hate scene and reaction

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A spokesman said the standard had not been put in place due to the broadcast of RTE’s ‘Love/Hate’, which frequently depicts scenes of gun-use and similar violence

A spokesman said the standard had not been put in place due to the broadcast of RTE’s ‘Love/Hate’, which frequently depicts scenes of gun-use and similar violence

Love/Hate Series 5 Episode 6
Aoibhinn McGinnity as Trish 
RT? One
Sunday November 9th

Love/Hate Series 5 Episode 6 Aoibhinn McGinnity as Trish RT? One Sunday November 9th

Love/Hate Series 5 Episode 6
Aoibhinn McGinnity as Trish and Charlie Murphy as Siobhan

Love/Hate Series 5 Episode 6 Aoibhinn McGinnity as Trish and Charlie Murphy as Siobhan

Tom Vaughan Lawlor as Nidge and Peter Coonan as Fran

Tom Vaughan Lawlor as Nidge and Peter Coonan as Fran

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The tweets from the latest episode of Love/Hate are "very telling" on a "number of aspects".

Love/Hate has never been afraid to dive right into the serious issues and last night's finale was no exception with the violent male rape of one of the main characters.

According to the Rape Crisis Network, of the 2,308 survivors that presented in 2011, 12% were male, with 13% of those reporting adult male sexual violence, 61% reporting emotional and psychological violence and 27% reporting both psychological and physical violence.

Twitter reaction to the rape, however, has not proved as progressive as perhaps the show's creators might have hoped.

A distinct lack of empathy has prevailed with users taking to Twitter to make jokes about the violent act which involved the use of a pool cue to anally violate the character in prison showers.

This morning, some Twitter users have pointed out that many tweets about the scene are inappropriate, trivialising the issue of male rape, and have compared the response to that of female character Siobhán, whose rape was not treated with the same joviality.

The tweets range in offensive content from throwaway comments on the welfare of the character to toilet-paper jokes accompanied by a screenshot of the gruesome aftermath scene.

Some media publications have even treated the scene carelessly, with several tweeting mocking memes including 'cue-la-boola' and other vulgar jokes.

Acting Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Network, Clíona Saidléar, said that the episode highlights a number of issues.

"The way the public reacted was very telling. It tell us that male rape is rare and we still don't know how to talk about it, but it also tells us that there is still an attitude that rape is a legitimate punishment".

The Dublin Rape Crisis centre told Independent.ie that they were "very concerned" that RTE "did not refer people to the Rape Crisis helpline", calling the omission "very regrettable".

CEO Ellen O'Malley Dunlop said that RTE should have considered that people may get "triggered" by the act of "extreme violence" depicted.

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Dublin is the largest rape crisis centre in the country, dealing with over one third of the country's survivors. "18% of the callers to the helpline are male and 10% of those undergoing therapy are also male".

Actor Peter Coonan previously told Newstalk that the scene was the "right choice".

"It made sense in regards to the character and the arc of the character and this alpha male being brought down to this level and to be so graphic as well."

The Rape Crisis Network does not agree with this sentiment.

"If we allow the idea that rape is an acceptable punishment then that goes across the board - not just in prisons... and (not just) because the character is a bad one".

"Rape is never acceptable - not in our prisons, not as punishment, never".

Over 1m viewers tuned into the season finale of the popular crime drama making Love/Hate the most popular Irish drama series in the history of television.

The National Rape Crisis Helpline can be reached at 1800 77 88 88.

 


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