BROADCASTER Nick Ross was forced to defend himself last night over controversial remarks suggesting “rape isn’t always rape”.
The former Crimewatch presenter made the comments in his book, in which he claimed half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped.
The comments, which have been criticised by some anti-rape campaigners, follow an outcry in 2011 when Ken Clarke, the then-justice secretary, faced calls to resign for using the words “serious rape”.
In a statement, Mr Ross, 65, insisted the book was “serious, carefully researched and evidence-based” and described rape as “one of the most defiling crimes”.
He said: “Far from attacking victims, the chapter explores why so few victims report rape, why so few prosecutions take place, and whether criminal courts are the best way of helping to deal with the appalling suffering caused by sex attacks,” he said.
In his book, Crime, Mr Ross said it had become “sacrilege to suggest that there can be any gradation: rape is rape”.
“The real experts, the victims, know otherwise,” he wrote.
“Half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped, and this proportion rises strongly when the assault involves a boyfriend, or if the woman is drunk or high on drugs: they went too far, it wasn’t forcible, they didn’t make themselves clear…
“For them, rape isn’t always rape and, however upsetting, they feel is a long way removed from being systematically violated or snatched off the street.”
He said the book cited research that found many victims do not regard what happened to them as rape, “even though in law it plainly was”.