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Dublin: 24 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

US politician criticised for saying "some girls rape easy"

Republican representative for Wisconsin Roger Rivard said his father had warned him that women could agree to sex but then later claim it was not consensual.

Roger Rivard (pictured on the left)
Roger Rivard (pictured on the left)

A US POLITICIAN has been criticised for telling a local newspaper that “some girls rape easy”.

Wisconsin state representative Roger Rivard was asked to explain the comments yesterday after originally being quoted in a local newspaper last December when asked to comment on a sexual assault in his area.

The comments resurfaced this week as Rivard is running for reelection.

The Republican politician told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal that the remarks were a warning from his father that women could agree to sex but then later claim it was not consensual.

He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry.’ Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’

What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’

So it’s been kind of taken out of context.

Three hours after speaking to the paper Rivard issued another statement to further clarify his remarks.

“Sexual assault is a crime that unfortunately is misunderstood and my comments have the potential to be misunderstood as well,” he said. “Rape is a horrible act of violence. Sexual assault unfortunately often goes unreported to police. I have four daughters and three granddaughters and I understand the importance of making sure that awareness of this crime is taken very seriously”.

He was strongly criticised by his opponent in the election, Democratic candidate Stephen Smith, who described the comments as “extreme” and “out of touch”.

Rivard’s comments also came under fire from groups campaigning against domestic abuse and sexual assault in Wisconsin.

Nichole Kathol, the head of an organisation helping victims of domestic abuse told the Journal Sentinel that Rivard was portraying women as the perpetrator of the violence being perpetrated against them.

“He’s blaming the victim and implying the definition of rape is all too encompassing”,” she said.

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