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Image / Editorial

Dr Ciara Kelly schools radio listener about rape and consent


by Erin Lindsay
26th Sep 2018
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Dr Ciara Kelly, presenter of radio show Lunchtime Live on Newstalk, reminded us all why we love her so much on yesterday’s episode.

On the show, Dr Ciara was discussing the subject rape and consent, in response to a recent story about how three college students in Cork have been raped since the start of the academic year. The presenter and her guest Mary Crilly, head of Cork city’s Sexual Violence Centre, had an extensive discussion about the effect that rape and assault can have on a victim, rape culture, the legal aspects and services available to victims.

While the aim of the show was clearly to educate and encourage more helpful attitudes towards victims of sexual assault, obviously not all listeners were so sympathetic. Dr Ciara received a text to the show from a woman who blamed female victims for being raped, saying that they should “dress more appropriately” to avoid attacks. The text in full reads as follows:

“Ciara, I am a woman and I feel the girls are going around with hardly anything on them and then they cry rape? Have these girls no shame? Dress appropriately and nothing will happen to them”

Have you no shame?

While other presenters may have brushed past the comment or given a half-hearted response, Dr. Ciara was not one to mince her words. She immediately confronted the listener’s problematic attitude, asking angrily: “Have you no shame, who sent that text? That’s what your response is?… Shame on you. You may be a woman but you’re no supporter of other women.”

“Rape is a violent crime and a power crime, and anyone who says otherwise is lucky enough, maybe, to not have experienced it.”

You can watch the clip in full here:

In one frustrated outburst, Dr. Ciara perfectly summed up the feelings of women everywhere who have had to deal with similarly infuriating opinions of women and rape culture. Rape is never the victim’s fault, and the sooner we begin showing real care and support to victims, the better.

If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can find more information about resources for support from the Rape Crisis Network Ireland. If you need to talk to someone, Samaritans is free to call at 116 123.

Featured image via Youtube