Mark Twain once observed that there were
three kinds of untruth: lies, damned lies and statistics. Now we should add a fourth
category of whopper: the Home Office research study.
According to one such specimen published this week, no fewer than one
in every 20 women aged between 16 and 59 in England and Wales has been raped, and one in
ten has experienced some form of sexual victimisation. Most of these assaults,
said the study, had been committed not by strangers but by intimates partners,
former partners and acquaintances.
If true, this would indeed be an appalling state of affairs. Such
huge numbers suffering serious sexual assault would mean that women were living in the
shadow of an intolerable level of violence by men. After all, rape is one of the most
serious crimes on the statute book because of the damage it does to a woman, both physical
If the researchers were correct, one would therefore expect to hear
an enormous amount of female distress and rage being expressed against these male intimates.
We would all of us know women friends or relatives who had been raped or sexually
But we are not hearing this. We are instead shocked and amazed by
these figures. The reason for our incomprehension is simple. What the researchers are
telling us is not true. Indeed, this study is a load of manipulative, malevolent rubbish
which must call the credibility of the Home Office research department seriously into
The devil here is in the definition. To most people, rape means
sexual penetration against the victims consent, which implies of necessity an act of
violence or the threat of violence.
The Home Office researchers have muddied this concept. Instead of the
legal definition of rape as penile penetration, the study defines it merely as
forced to have sexual intercourse against your will.
But the definition of forced against your will is highly
subjective. It can so easily translate into if you didnt want to, which
can become meaningless. Although the study claims the word forced implies an
assault, it does nothing of the kind.
A woman might feel forced to have sex against her will, for example,
if her lover tells her that otherwise he will leave here for another woman. Or she might be an unwilling participant because
he is drunk, or hasnt had a bath for a week, or she doesnt love him.
The crucial point is that in such circumstances she is participating
in sex even though she could choose not to do so. She
is therefore not the victim of violence. By any fair-minded or common-sense definition,
this is not rape. Yet the Home Office researchers appear to have included this kind of
experience in their definition.
This already highly questionable exercise then becomes positively
surreal. For believe it or not, the raped women in the survey themselves dont
think what has happened to them is rape. The study actually admits that, of the women who
the researchers said had been raped, fewer than two thirds themselves described what had
happened to them as rape. And fewer than three quarters of those who the researchers said
had experienced sexual victimisation thought of this as a crime.
The reason for the discrepancy is perfectly obvious to anyone who is
not busy playing sexual politics. These events were simply not rapes or sexual assaults,
and the women concerned knew this perfectly well. That is because most of these incidents
happened within sexual relationships with intimates, and the women involved appeared to
accept what most people would think, that the issue of consent between lovers can be
Yet what these women themselves made of their experiences seems to be
of no consequence to these Whitehall researchers, who of course know better than the
victims what has happened to them. (So much for Home Office rhetoric about putting the
victim first). They therefore drum up one self-serving reason after another to explain why
sexual experiences which the women didnt think were rape were indeed rape.
Thus, they suggest that the women might not want to admit they have
been raped because this is degrading and stigmatising; or they may not want to acknowledge
that someone they like or love is a rapist. The idea that they knew perfectly well that
the person they liked or loved was not a rapist does not occur to these researchers. The
women are simply wrong.
This astonishing display of contempt arises because nothing as
inconvenient as a few facts can get in the way of the assumption behind this study: that
women are being raped, and men are getting away with it.
The ideological bias that is clearly driving this research is
underlined by a crucial omission. The study
says that most sexual violence is committed by partners. But highly significantly
it omits to make a distinction between partners and spouses. It therefore does not tell us whether women suffer
as much sexual assault from husbands as from boyfriends or cohabitants.
Yet all the available research suggests that the risk of sexual
violence is negligible within marriage, and is hugely increased among cohabitants or more
casual sexual partners. Marriage is actually the best physical protection against sexual
But this study states instead that home life not safe. Here we get to
the nasty core of this whole misleading exercise. For the underlying purpose is to
demonise men and write them out of the domestic script altogether.
It is this agenda of marriage-busting, man-hating feminism which has
now got the Home Office well and truly in its clutches. Ever since New Labour came to
power, it has been spouting a torrent of distorted information about domestic violence.
It has been exaggerating its incidence, omitting a vast amount of
international evidence that women are equally aggressive as men and - again
refusing to acknowledge the key fact that most domestic violence takes place between
cohabiting and other unmarried couples.
The fact is that sexual mores have dramatically changed. Women now
initiate casual sex; they carry condoms in their bags and drink, smoke, swear and often
parody the worst caricature of macho culture.
As a result, the rules of the mating game have totally altered. The
room for ambiguous signals has hugely expanded. Thats why the courts are reluctant
to convict men accused of rape.
But Whitehalls feminists cannot allow a little thing like
injustice to interrupt their agenda. So the government is now hell bent on rigging the
justice system itself to get men convicted of rape, by hook or by crook. To justify this,
men have to be shown as perpetrating an intolerable level of violence upon women.
The result of this lie is not only to commit a calumny upon the male
sex. It will also trivialise real rape when it occurs, make it harder to convict the
guilty and betray the true needs of women to be protected against violence.