Netizen 24 IRL: Remarks like Hook's can lead to rape victims not reporting - Rape Crisis Centre

Remarks like Hook's can lead to rape victims not reporting - Rape Crisis Centre Comments such as those of broadcaster George Hook can le...

Remarks like Hook's can lead to rape victims not reporting - Rape Crisis Centre

Comments such as those of broadcaster George Hook can lead to victims of rape and sexual assault not reporting their cases to the authorities, the chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said.

Noeline Blackwell said Mr Hook’s comments on Friday about a UK rape case were problematic, wrong, and entirely irresponsible. “When someone is raped the only person responsible is the rapist.”

Mr Hook has apologised for the comments in which he asked why a young woman who had just met a man in a bar would go back to his hotel room, in the context of a case where a 19-year-old woman alleges she was raped by a former member of the British swim team.

“Is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?” he said while discussing the case.

Ms Blackwell said victims of sexual assault should not be made feel they might be partly responsible and it was not a woman’s responsibility “to find places where they are safe from rape”.

Mr Hook issued a statement saying he wanted to “apologise unreservedly for comments” he made about rape on his Newstalk radio programme on Friday.

“It was unacceptable to suggest in any way that blame could be attributed to victims of rape. I apologise for the comments which caused hurt and offence, and for this I am truly sorry.”

He did not want to comment further when contacted by The Irish Times.

Dalata

Pat McCann, the chief executive of the Dalata hotel group, his programme’s sponsor, said on Sunday night “we will be attempting to end our commercial relationship with Newstalk first thing in the morning. We can’t be associated with either a presenter or a station that allows those kind of comments”.

Newstalk issued “an unreserved apology for George Hook’s comments about rape on the station.”

The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, said the comments were a matter of real concern given that Mr Hook held a position of high responsibility in Irish public and broadcasting life.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin described the comments as “depressing and unacceptable”.

“Those sorts of comments do actual harm and they’re not acceptable because they do actual harm,” Mr Howlin said.

Asked if Mr Hook should b e fired, he said that was a matter for Newstalk. “It would certainly make me a lot less likely to listen to George Hook.”

The station is expected to have a high-level meeting on Monday to discuss the controversy though, a source said, no decision had been made to hold a formal inquiry. It was likely that Mr Hook would be spoken to “about what he can and can’t say”. Such controversies always provoke concerns about programme sponsorship, the source added.

“George Hook’s comments are dangerous, and a perfect encapsulation of rape culture. His comments enable rapists,” the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) said on Twitter.

Mr Hook on his programme, High Noon< /em>, said: “Apparently she went to bed with one guy and he goes out and another guy comes in. She doesn’t want to have relations with the second guy but he forces himself upon her. Awful,” he said.

“But when you then look deeper into the story you have to ask certain questions. Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room? She’s only just barely met him. ”

“But modern day social activity means that she goes back with him. Then is surprised when somebody else comes into the room and rapes her. Should she be raped? Course she shouldn’t,” he said.

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Netizen 24 Ireland: Netizen 24 IRL: Remarks like Hook's can lead to rape victims not reporting - Rape Crisis Centre
Netizen 24 IRL: Remarks like Hook's can lead to rape victims not reporting - Rape Crisis Centre
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