x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Hesitation in reporting rape

Almost a third of all respondents to a survey said they would think twice about reporting a rape, following a high-profile case in Dubai.

Last month, many western newspapers reported the case of a 23-year-old British woman who told the Dubai Police she had been raped on New Year's Eve while she and her fiance were staying in a hotel on a three-day break. They were both charged with having unlawful sex and illegal consumption of alcohol. Respondents were asked whether, in the light of this case, they would call the police if they were raped. Almost a third of all respondents (29 per cent) said they would think twice about it. Five per cent said they would not report the crime. There was little difference between the views of men and women.

However, westerners were much less likely to involve the authorities: only 41 per cent would definitely call the police, 48 per cent would have second thoughts and 10 per cent definitely would not. The findings are a slight improvement on those of a survey carried out by YouGov in December. This found that half of the women surveyed would not report a rape; The National poll found that 36 per cent of women would either hesitate or definitely would not report it.

Overall, the least reluctance was expressed by Emiratis, of whom only 15 per cent would hesitate to involve the law.