A new video shows what it might look like if robbery victims were treated in the same way as rape victims.
Cynthia Kao, who describes herself as a ‘writer/performer/feminist’ in LA, directed the short film to highlight existing rape myths.
In the video, a man calls two police officers after his laptop is stolen.
“Sounds pretty sexy. Were you flaunting it?” the officers ask him.
“Right in front of this window? Sounds like you were asking for it.”
They tell him that by reporting the crime he will “bring negative attention” to the neighbourhood. They add that his offer of a cup of tea just isn’t in line with the kind of behaviour they’d expect from a victim.
“How do I know you didn’t want someone to take your computer? Had you been drinking?” ask the police officers.
The video cleverly shows the attitutudes that still exist when it comes to rape victims – that alcohol, clothing and their behaviour can all be contributing factors to the crime,
It also highlights the discrepancies in the ways rape victims are treated from victims of any other crime.
The video comes as Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, has spoken about new guidelines around sexual assault.
She said men accused of date rape must expect to be quizzed by police over the ‘steps they took’ to establish a woman agreed to sex.
During a speech, Saunders said: “The law states that if a suspect can show that they had reasonable belief that the other party consented, then the offence of rape is not made out.
“Logic dictates that in order to establish what the suspect’s reasonable belief might be then investigators will want to question the suspect on what it was that assured him the sexual activity was consensual.
“The new toolkits on consent make this clear, highlighting that when considering consent issues, in addition to examining the actions of the complainant, we will also examine the steps taken by a suspect.”
Around 85,000 women per year are victims of rape in the UK, of who 90 per cent know the perpetrator.
The most recent figures showed that just 15,670 women reported rapes to the police, often because they thought it would be impossible to prove the offence, or because they did not have any confidence in the police’s ability to help them, with only 1,070 convictions resulting from the 2,910 cases that reached court.