Women blamed for causing rape

A senior police officer in Bangladesh has blamed the clothing choice of women for causing rape.

The police commander, in charge of a regional police station in Sylhet division, blamed Bollywood films for encouraging women to wear “revealing” outfits, which he said would in-turn lead to them being raped.

“Foreign media, such as Indian TV and films, are watched by our children, who then want to wear these revealing outfits,” he told a reporter from US magazine Vice News.

rape“That’s the issue. We follow Islamic laws and rules here. I think if girls cover themselves up, I would be far less attracted to them and they towards me.”

The officer then told the reporter, who was wearing a headscarf and long robe, that she was not wearing enough to avoid rape: “It’s not enough. More than that,” he said.

Asked how a woman could be the “culprit” of the rape, the officer appeared lost for words.

The interview appeared online over the weekend and is part of an investigative report into an alleged gang rape epidemic in the country.

Tania Rashid, the reporter who interviewed the police officer, said the officer was blaming women for problems caused by the behaviour of men.

“The men refuse to take responsibility for their actions,” she told German news agency DW.

“They choose to blame women instead. Until men recognize that the solution to the rape epidemic starts with them, nothing will change.”

The policeman makes the comments about 18 minutes into the 20 minute report.

A recent report by the United Nations alleges that one in eight men living in rural Bangladesh admit to having raped someone.

Legally the crime is punishable by death, but there are no accurate government figures for the crime in the country due to social stigma and an apparent lack of interest from local authorities in investigating it.

Bangladesh is not the only country where authorities have claimed it is the responsibility of women to stop rape.

In the UK as recently as 2007 the National Health Service ran a poster campaign telling women not to drink excessive alcohol because it could cause them to be raped.