Chrissie Hynde criticised for rape victim comments

The Pretenders singer's new book 'Reckless' is released in September

The Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde has been criticised for suggesting that it is a rape victim’s own fault if they are “putting it about and being provocative”.

Hynde releases her new book Reckless in September, with a section of the book focusing on an incident of sexual abuse when she was 21.

Writing of the event, which saw members of a motorcycle gang rape her in an abandoned house, Hynde reportedly writes, “Now let me assure you that, technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility… You can’t fuck about with people, especially people who wear ‘I heart rape’ and ‘on you knees’ badges.”

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Hynde added, “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 (the attacker’s) fault. But if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who is already unhinged – don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense.”

She continued, “If you play with fire, you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it? I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial.”

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Hynde’s comments have been criticised by anti-sexual violence charities. Lucy Hastings, director of the charity 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. It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organisations so they can get the help and support they need.”