Detail of "Judgements", by artist Rosea Lake
Photo Credit: Rosea Lake

One in five Canadians still think women encourage sexual assaults

About 19 per cent of Canadians believe women encourage or provoke assault when they are drunk, a recent survey suggests.

The survey commissioned by the Canadian Women’s Foundation also found that 15 per cent of Canadians believe assault can be provoked by flirting. The percentage is higher – 20 per cent – among Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34.

“It’s very concerning for us… because we know that when a woman feels like she is being blamed for sexual assault… she’s very unlikely to come forward and report [it]”, says Sandra Diaz, vice-president of communications for the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

“The real question we should be asking is ‘Why do some men think it’s OK to rape women? – Sandra Diaz

“The real question we should be asking is ‘Why do some men think it’s OK to rape women?, and ‘Why aren’t we teaching our boys not to rape?’”, says Diaz.

In spite of being shocked at the results of the survey, Diaz adds that she has some hope. She says some recent high-profile cases have sparked unprecedented indignation in the Canadian population.

“People are outraged and shocked and embarrassed as Canadians that these points of view still exist. The message that we should all be giving to women in our lives is that there’s nothing that she could wear, drink, say or do that would ever justify her being a victim of violence”, says Diaz.

Poster of the Canadian Women’s Foundation latest campaign. © Canadian Women’s Foundation

Diaz adds that the best place to start changing perceptions is in the classroom, teaching boys and girls to understand concepts of consent and that ‘rape isn’t funny’.

The survey

The online poll was conducted by Angus Reid in February among 1,008 randomly selected Canadian adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Between 9 and 19 per cent of respondents said that a woman could provoke or encourage sexual assault in some of those other situations:

  • 9 per cent said walking home alone
  • 11 per cent said when she wears a short skirt
  • 15 per cent said when she flirts with a man
  • 16 per cent said when she invites a man to her home
  • 19 per cent said when she is drunk

External links:

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Sandra Diaz, vice-president of communications for the Canadian Women’s Foundation, speaks with Gilda Salomone about the results of the organization’s latest survey.



Categories: Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One comment on “One in five Canadians still think women encourage sexual assaults
  1. Avatar Edward Schweikert says:

    I am glad you were brave enough to print that story. In the USA, the women lib movement would want heads on a silver platter. GOOD LUCK!!!

    I am glad someone has testosterone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!