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Third of women say there are varying degrees of rape

Interviews by Declan Harvey and Natalie Wyatt, words Amelia Butterly
Newsbeat reporters

image copyrightPA

A third of women believe there are varying degrees of rape, according to new figures.

The same proportion also think if a woman does not fight back, then she cannot have experienced rape.

Charity Rape Crisis carried out the research with Reveal Magazine and says the survey also shows many people aren't properly supported through the legal process when it comes to rape.

It wants more funding for ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors).

Part of their job is to support victims through the justice system.

A quarter of the 1,000 women surveyed wrongly thought if someone was drunk it could not be classed as rape, while 60% thought it did not count if a woman does not say no.

Zoe, 23, was raped by her stepfather, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the repeated attacks.

She does not agree with the attitudes some of these women expressed.

"I don't believe there's varying levels. It's a horrific crime. To me, rape is rape."

Zoe thinks more needs to be done support people who have been raped.

"I think it's quite disgusting. I don't know how people, especially women, could be so judgemental about it.

"It is shocking actually."

Sixteen per cent of the women who responded said they had been forced to have sex, however over three quarters of them did not report it to police.

Believing myths

Reasons they gave for not speaking up included fear they would not be believed, worry about lack of legal support and doubt over whether the prosecution would be successful.

Yvonne Treynor from Rape Crisis told Newsbeat "[Rape] isn't about sex, its about power and control."

"The general public are believing certain myths.

"There is no such thing as a varying degree of rape. It's going to affect women in exactly the same way.

"Rape is rape. Rape is the most horrendous thing that could ever happen to a woman or man."

Yvonne is part of a campaign calling on the government to provide funding for more independent female advisors to support victims through the legal process.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Justice, The Home Office and ONS show there were an estimated 60,000 to 95,000 incidents of rape on average in the last three years.

Only 15,670 of these were reported to police, of which 2,910 rape cases went to court. This resulted in a total of 1,070 rape prosecutions.

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