Sex without consent acceptable to 21% of Irish poll respondents

Violence against women not acceptable to 97% of Irish taking Eurobarometer survey

 

Some 21 per cent of Irish respondents to a survey think having sex without consent is acceptable in certain situations.

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of Irish people think being drunk or on drugs justifies sex without consent, the poll found.

A small number of Irish people felt walking home alone, wearing certain clothing or going home with someone made sex without consent acceptable.

Despite these findings, 97 per cent of Irish respondents said violence against women was not acceptable.

Fieldwork for the Eurobarometer survey was carried out in June of this year, and 1,002 people in Ireland were interviewed for it.

The poll found while there was much agreement that domestic violence, sexual harassment and other gender-based violence were unacceptable, such behaviours still occur widely.

More than three quarters of Irish respondents (77 per cent) said domestic violence against women is common in Ireland.

One quarter (26 per cent) said they know of a friend or family member who had fallen victim to domestic violence.

The survey also showed up a persistence in victim-blaming.

Some 18 per cent of EU respondents agreed with the suggestion that violence against women is often provoked by the victim.

Survey breakdown

Some 11 per cent of Irish and 12 per cent of EU respondents thought being drunk or having used drugs justified sexual intercourse without consent, with those in Romania (30 per cent), Hungary (24 per cent), Bulgaria (21 per cent) and Latvia (20 per cent) the most likely to think this way. This compared to only 2 per cent of respondents in Sweden, Finland, Spain and Denmark.

Some 9 per cent of Irish and 11 per cent of EU respondents said intercourse without consent was justified if a person voluntarily went home with someone. Just 3 per cent of respondents in Sweden and Spain thought this way.

Some 9 per cent of Irish respondents said sex without consent is justified if the person is wearing provocative or sexy clothes. Respondents in Romania (25 per cent) were most likely to agree while only 2 per cent of respondents in Sweden, Spain and Denmark agreed.

Meanwhile, 7 per cent of Irish said sexual intercourse without consent was justified if a person was walking alone at night.

Gender-based violence

About 23 per cent of Irish and 22 per cent of EU respondents claimed women often made up or exaggerated claims of abuse or rape. Maltese respondents were most likely to agree (47 per cent) while Swedish respondents were least likely to do so (8 per cent).

Some 18 per cent of Irish and 17 per cent of EU respondents said violence against women was often provoked by the victim. This compared to a high of 57 per cent in Latvia and a low of 6 per cent in the Netherlands.

‘Very common’

Some 77 per cent of Irish people thought domestic violence against women in Ireland is common or very common, above the EU average of 74 per cent.

People in Portugal (93 per cent) were most likely to think domestic violence against women was an issue in their country and people in Bulgaria (50 per cent) the least likely.

Meanwhile, 53 per cent of Irish respondents thought domestic violence against men is common or very common in Ireland. The EU average for this attitude is 29 per cent.

An overwhelming 89 per cent of Irish people said domestic violence against women is not acceptable and should be punishable in law.

This is above the EU average of 84 per cent. A further 8 per cent of Irish people thought domestic violence against women is unacceptable but should not always be punishable by law.

Twelve per cent of Irish respondents said domestic violence is a private matter which should be handled within the family.

Sexual harassment

Just 1 per cent of Irish and EU respondents thought sending unwanted sexually illicit emails or messages is not wrong and should not be against the law. This compared a low of 0 per cent in the UK.

Only 3 per cent of Irish respondents said making sexually suggestive comments or “jokes” to a woman in the street is not wrong and should not be against the law.

One per cent of Irish respondents thought touching a colleague in an inappropriate or unwanted way was not wrong and should not be unlawful.

In total, 74 per cent of Irish and 70 per cent of EU respondents felt sexual harassment against women is common.