Majority Say Rape Is Justified If Women Wear Revealing Clothes, According To Brazilian Poll


In a depressing new poll released Friday, a majority of Brazilians said that a woman deserves to be raped if she’s wearing revealing clothing. In the same poll, a smaller majority also said that “if women knew how to behave, there would be fewer rapes.” The survey, which was sponsored by the Brazilian government and included more female respondents than male, resulted in a massive social media backlash and ultimately prompted a response from the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff.

The poll, courtesy of the government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research, had 65 percent of 3,810 respondents agreeing that rape is justified if the woman is wearing “clothing that shows off the body.” Another 58.5 percent said that rape would be less common if women “knew how to behave.” The poll didn’t divide the responses by gender; however, in a stark illustration of how widespread this perception is, 66 percent of those surveyed were women.

Unsurprisingly, the poll prompted quick and widespread outrage. Journalist Nana Queiroz launched a Facebook campaign encouraging women to post revealing photos of themselves with the text “Eu não mereço ser estuprada,” or “I do not deserve to be raped,” overlaid. On Friday, around 20,000 women did so simultaneously, and the results were aggregated on an accompanying Tumblr page.

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Rousseff, who signed legislation last year requiring hospitals to provide emergency care to victims of sexual violence, said the poll illustrates the fact that “Brazilian society still has a long way to go.”

“It also shows that the government and society must work together to tackle violence against women inside and outside the home,” she added on Twitter.