Almost a quarter of people in Britain think rape can acceptable in some circumstances.
The disturbing findings were revealed in a survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission, which looked at attitudes towards gender-based violence across the EU’s 28 member states.
It revealed that 22% of British respondents said that ‘sexual intercourse without consent may be justified in certain situations’.
Scenarios given included if the victim was drunk or had taken drugs, if they voluntarily went home with someone, if they were wearing ‘revealing, provocative or sexy clothing’, or if they didn’t say no clearly enough or physically fight back.
Shockingly, 30% of people in the UK also think women ‘often make up or exaggerate claims of abuse or rape’.
A further 17% believe that ‘violence against women is often provoked by the victim’.
The study into gender-based violence was conducted in June 2016 and published this month.
It mostly focused on violence against women in EU member states, although it did investigate attitudes towards domestic abuse against men.
According to the report, overall, 32% of people across the 28 EU countries think rape can be justifiable in some situations.
Even more shocking, 17% of EU citizens believe that violence against women is often provoked by the victim, and more than a fifth (22%) think that women usually make up or exaggerate their claims of abuse or rape.
‘Gender-based violence is a violation of a person’s fundamental rights, and is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality,’ the report says.
‘There can be no real gender equality when there is wide-scale gender-based violence against women. It hinders women’s active participation in the labour market, and society in general.’
It added that gender-based violence, against both sexes, is estimated to cost the European economy some €259billion – €226billion of which is lost because of violence against women.