Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde condemned after saying it can be a woman’s fault if she is raped, and blamed herself for performing sexual acts under threat of violence.
Singer Chrissie Hynde has been criticized for saying it can be a woman’s fault if she is raped.
The Pretenders star, 63, said she blamed herself for being forced to perform sexual acts under the threat of violence.
She told the Sunday Times magazine that when she was 21 an Ohio motorcycle gang member promised to take her to a party but instead took her to an empty house, yet she claimed to take “full responsibility” for what happened.
She said: “Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can’t f*** about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges … those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do.
“You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive.”
When asked whether the gang took advantage of her vulnerability, she replied: “If you play with fire you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it?”
Hynde went on to say that women who dress provocatively while walking down the street drunk were also to blame if they were attacked. “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” she said.
“If I’m walking around and I’m very modestly dressed and I’m keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I’d say that’s his fault. But if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who’s already unhinged – don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense. You know, if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him.
“If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*** me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
This singer’s comments were condemned by the head of the charity Victim Support, who said victims should not blame themselves.
Lucy Hastings, the charity’s director, said: “Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered – regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable.
“They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack – often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions.
“It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organizations so they can get the help and support they need.”