TORONTO – One in five Canadians think women who are drunk invite sexual assault, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday.
According to the poll, conducted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 19 per cent of respondents said women need to be aware of what they are wearing and how much alcohol they are drinking.
Nearly one-quarter of the 19 per cent were people between 18 and 34 years old.
“The belief that women are responsible for sexual assault because of their actions or appearance is still common in our society,” said Anu Dugal, Director of Violence Prevention at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, in a release, “and can cause women who have suffered abuse to stay silent and often feel responsible for what happened to them.
“Canadians must stop questioning and blaming sexual assault victims and start asking why some men rape women.”
The survey also revealed 15 per cent of Canadians believe women encourage sexual assault by flirting and 11 per cent think women can provoke sexual assault when they wear short skirts.
“These results show that many Canadians have incorrect and problematic ideas about the root causes of sexual abuse,” said Dugal.
A sexual assault is defined as any unwanted sexual touching, kissing, hugging, molestation, rape and attempted rape.
The online survey was conducted in February among 1,008 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.