21% of Irish people think having sex without consent is OK in certain situations

11% of Irish people say being drunk justifies sex without consent

21% of Irish people think having sex without consent is OK in certain situations

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

A new survey has found that 21% of Irish people think that having sexual intercourse without consent is OK in certain situations.

The Eurobarometer poll has been released to coincide with International Day to End Violence Against Women.

It also shows that 11% of Irish people say that being drunk or on drugs justifies sex without consent.

There was also a small number of Irish people who thought that walking home alone, wearing certain clothing and going home with someone made intercourse without consent acceptable.

However, 97% said that violence against women was unacceptable.

While there is widespread agreement that domestic violence, sexual harassment and other acts of gender-based violence are unacceptable the survey shows that it still occurs widely.

Some 77% of Irish respondents say that domestic violence against women is common.

One-quarter of Irish people say they know of a friend or family member who has been a victim of domestic violence.

While the survey also reveals the persistence of victim-blaming and alarming attitudes about consent - 18% of Irish people agree that violence against women is often provoked by the victim.

How does Ireland compare?

11% of Irish and 12% of EU respondents think being drunk or using drugs justifies sexual intercourse without consent, with those in Romania (30%), Hungary (24%), Bulgaria (21%) and Latvia (20%) the most likely to think this way.

This compares to only 2% of respondents in Sweden, Finland, Spain and Denmark.

While 9% of Irish and 11% of EU respondents say intercourse without consent is justified if a person voluntarily goes home with someone.

Romania (26%), Hungary and Latvia (both 20%) say intercourse without consent is justified in this instance.

But just 3% of respondents in Sweden and Spain think this way.

9% of Irish and 10% of EU respondents say sexual intercourse without consent is justified if the person is wearing revealing, provocative or sexy clothing.

People in Romania (25%) were most likely to agree - while only 2% of respondents in Sweden, Spain and Denmark think that way.

Read the findings in full here

Some 7% of Irish and EU respondents say sexual intercourse without consent is justified if the person is out walking alone at night.

Respondents in Hungary are the most likely to agree (18%) - those in Denmark and Spain (both 1%) were least likely.

While 21% of Irish and 27% of EU respondents think that having sexual intercourse without consent may be justified in certain situations. Respondents in Romania (55%) were most likely to be of this opinion, while those in Sweden (6%) were least.

And 23% of Irish and 22% of EU respondents agree women often make up or exaggerate claims of abuse or rape. Maltese respondents were most likely to agree (47%) while Swedish respondents were least (8%).

18% of Irish and 17% of EU respondents agree that violence against women is often provoked by the victim. This compares to a high of 57% in Latvia and a low of 6% in the Netherlands.

While 77% of Irish people think domestic violence against women in Ireland is common or very common, which is above the EU average of 74%.

People in Portugal (93%) were most likely to think that domestic violence against women was a problem in their country, and people in Bulgaria (50%) least.

"There is no grey area when it comes to consent"

Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says we need a clear definition of consent in our laws.

"It's really important that everyone knows that sexual activity without consent is wrong", she said. "Our society needs to say an awful lot more. Consent should be at the heart of any sexual activity that someone is engaging with."

All this week Newstalk and COSC - National Office for the Prevention of Domestic Sexual and Gender Biased Violence - are campaigning to increase the awareness of domestic and sexual violence.

If you have been affected by anything mentioned in this article, you can call the COSC helpline on 046-902-3718 or visit www.whatwouldyoudo.ie