ITV apologises over Loose Women rape poll

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Loose Women logoImage source, Itv

ITV has apologised after a poll on Loose Women about rape offended viewers.

The show asked whether rape was ever a woman's fault.

The poll followed on from comments The Pretenders' singer Chrissie Hynde had made in the Sunday Times.

She said she blamed herself for a sexual assault she had experienced aged 21 and was criticised when she said women "have to take responsibility".

The Loose Women poll drew criticism on Twitter, with one viewer Rebecca Gill calling it "off the scale of acceptability".

'Ill-considered, insensitive and insulting'

Image source, Twitter
Image source, Twitter

Rape Crisis for England and Wales tweeted that it was "not an appropriate opinion poll; legally and morally the answer is a resounding 'no'" and questioned whether the show would "have a poll on whether it is ever someone's own fault if they are mugged or murdered?"

Katie Russell the national spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales added:

"A programme like Loose Women could choose to use its high profile to raise awareness and understanding of rape, its impacts and prevalence, and to support and encourage survivors to seek services like those Rape Crisis offers; instead, they've reinforced myths and stereotypes with this ill-considered, insensitive and insulting poll."

Image source, Twitter
Image caption,
Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group tweeted their anger at the poll

Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group called the poll "harmful to women".

In a statement issued to The Guardian an ITV spokesperson admitted the poll "was misjudged".

"Loose Women is a daily talk show centred around topical debate and this discussion, linked to a recent news story, involved a full and frank range of views from the panellists.

"We always want to know what our viewers think about topical issues, however, we accept that the wording of the online poll was misjudged and we apologise for any offence caused."

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 53 complaints about the poll and will "assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not".

Last year, Judy Finnigan apologised for comments she made on Loose Women about rape.

She upset viewers when she talked about convicted rapist Ched Evans and said the rape was "not violent".

"I apologise unreservedly for any offence that I may have caused as a result of the wording I used," said the former This Morning presenter.