One in 10 Dutch female students has been raped, new research shows

Statue of justice.
Statue of justice.

One in 10 female and 1% of male students in the Netherlands have been raped according to a survey of 1,000 students, human rights organisation Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

Most of the students said they knew their attacker from either a date or a party. ‘We are not talking about strange men hiding in the bushes,’ Amnesty spokeswoman Martine Goeman told broadcaster RTL Nieuws.

The organisation defines rape as penetration of some form without consent and said that 60% of the victims did not themselves define what had happened to them as rape.

New legislation in the Netherlands will define all non-consensual sex as rape with a maximum sentence of nine years and suspects can be found guilty if they know that someone did not want sex. In the current law, rape is defined as a sexual assault involving force or violence.

The research, carried out by I&O-peiling, also shows that only a small proportion of students are aware who they can approach within their university for help. While universities are not responsible for the rape, they can do more to help victims, Goeman said.

Just 3% of the students in the survey said they had reported their attack to a university mentor and 40% had told no-one what had happened to them.

The research also found that 37% of men and 25% of women thought a woman was more likely to be raped if she wore ‘sexy’ clothing, while 23% of men and 8% of women said a woman who had had many sexual partners was also more likely to be raped.

In addition, 6% of men and 2% of women said a kiss after a date meant you had consented to sex.

Amnesty International has been campaigning to have sex without consent recognised as rape. It says 13 countries in the European Economic Area have changed their legal definition of rape to a consent-based one, including Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany and Greece.

The Dutch legislation is still pending.

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