Chrissie Hynde Criticized For Rape Comments

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders has stirred up a wellspring of controversy with her comment on rape victims.

Hynde spoke with London's Sunday Times about a time, when she was 21, that she was sexually assaulted by a member of an Ohio biker gang.

The singer told the paper that the man was supposed to give her a ride to a party but, instead, took her to an abandoned house; however, Hynde is placing the blame for the incident on herself. "Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing, and I take full responsibility. You can't f-- about with people, especially people who wear 'I Heart Rape' and 'On Your Knees' badges. ... Those motorcycle gangs, that's what they do. You can't paint yourself into a corner and then say, 'Whose brush is this?' You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive."

She went on to say that, if she were to be walking around in enticing clothing and drunk, then anything that happens to her is her fault. "If I'm walking around, and I'm very modestly dressed and I'm keeping to myself, and someone attacks me, then I'd say that's his fault. But if I'm being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who's already unhinged -- don't do that. Come on! That's just common sense."

"You know, if you don't want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so you can't run from him. If you're wearing something that says 'Come and f--- me,' you'd better be good on your feet. ... I don't think I'm saying anything controversial, am I?"

Hynde's comments brought a long list of criticisms from activists and support groups for rape victims. One, Lucy Hastings of Victim Support, said "Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered -- regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable. They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack -- often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions."

A spokesperson for RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) said "This feeling of self-blame, described by Chrissie Hynde, can often prevent survivors from coming forward and getting the support that they deserve. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a sexual assault, a victim is never to blame. The responsibility always lies solely with the perpetrator, no matter what."

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