Shocking figures released today show that one in five Irish people (21%) believe that sex without consent is okay in certain situations.
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the European Commission published a report based on a survey of opinions towards gender-based violence.
In June this year, 1,002 Irish people were surveyed for the Eurobarometer, and their answers added to a study of the entire EU.
Throughout the EU, an average of 27% think that non-consensual sexual intercourse is justified in some circumstances.
When asked if being drunk or on drugs justifies sex without consent, 11% of Irish people surveyed said that was allowed.
The report found that one in three women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.
Attitudes to violence against women were also explored, and 23% of Irish people surveyed said that women make up or exaggerate claims of sexual violence.
Almost one in five respondents in Ireland (18%) agrees violence against women is often provoked by the victim.
Specific cases in which Irish people said sexual attacks were okay included a person voluntarily going home with someone (9%), if the person is wearing revealing, provocative or sexy clothing (9%), if the person is out walking alone at night (7%) or if the person does not clearly say no or physically fight back (9%)
In a shocking statistic about children, the report found that one in three women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.
The European Commission launched a series of actions for 2017 to combat violence against women and girls in all its forms.
A joint statement on the report said that “enough is enough” and that the impact of gender-based violence on families, communities, societies and the economy cannot be ignored. “More needs to be done in the EU to ensure that any sort of violence against women is eliminated.
Support is available for local women affected by sexual violence. Donegal Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre offer counselling, support and advice to survivors of rape and sexual abuse in a confidential, safe and friendly environment. If you need to talk, visit www.donegalrapecrisis.ie