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The ever-contentious Nigel Farage has once again decided to twist reality simply to serve his own warped agenda. The UKIP leader had been reported saying that staying in the EU could lead to "migrant sex attacks" becoming a regular occurrence in the UK.
It's deplorable that a so-called political leader would use the horrible experiences of sexual abuse survivors to score a moot political point at such a pivotal time in the EU referendum debate.
This is victim-blaming to the next level. If someone is sexually assaulted or raped by a non-UK citizen, is it because the survivor did not vote to leave the EU? Is it because, as Farage implies, we didn't stop hordes of migrants flooding to our shores?
No. Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone and the reason for it never lies with the survivor. It is wholly the perpetrator who is to blame.
Given that 90 per cent of survivors know their perpetrator according to statistics from Rape Crisis England and Wales, you'd think that people in this country are in more danger at home with the people they know, than with strangers from other countries. So maybe instead of putting the onus on voters to vote leave to protect themselves from assault, Farage should get a reality check and follow his own message of dealing with domestic policy issues.
Only 5.7 per cent of cases end with a conviction for the perpetrator, and this damning statistic needs to be rectified, and soon. No wonder that it's so difficult for survivors to get taken seriously, with most reporting historic cases. The fear of their experience not being believed is enough for some survivors to stay silent. Instead of diminishing their voices and reducing their experiences to political soundbites to help their cause, people like Farage should actually do something about this very serious crime.
Stop your xenophobic scaremongering and make the criminal justice system fairer for survivors of sexual assault and rape.