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  1. ITV Report

Judge accused of 'victim-blaming' says comments were intended to stop women being raped

A judge accused of 'victim-blaming' after saying women were at greater risk of being raped if they were drunk has defended her comments.

Judge Lindsey Kushner said her remarks were intended to "stop women getting raped in the first place".

She added there was "no question the man is responsible, but why shouldn't you say, be aware ladies?"

Her original comments were made as she jailed a rapist in Manchester in March.

She said women were entitled "to drink themselves into the ground" but their "dis-inhibited behaviour" could put them in danger from men who gravitate towards vulnerable women.

She added that drunk girls and women are "less likely to fight a man with evil intentions off".

The now retired judge appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside rape victim Megan Clark, who agreed with her, saying the comments were "common sense" and "just advice".

Megan Clark was attacked after a night out in Manchester. Credit: ITV News

Miss Clark, 19, was attacked by Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes after meeting him in a fast food restaurant after a night out in Manchester in July 2016.

Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, also 19, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of two counts of rape.

Miss Clark - who has waived her right to anonymity - said: "The fact I was drunk did put me in more danger - not that that's my fault - but the risk was higher."

She continued: "There is never any responsibility on a rape victim, none at all, but it is just common sense to look after yourself.

"There is danger out there in every aspect of life. Just be careful."

Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes was jailed by Judge Kushner for six years over the attack. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

In an attempt to justify her comments, Judge Kushner used the analogy of being burgled.

"We don't like burglars and they shouldn't burgle," she said.

"But we do close and lock our doors at night, and anyone who leaves them open, they're not protecting themselves and their belongings."

She continued that while rape is always the fault of the attacker, there was nothing wrong with telling women to "be aware".