George Galloway’s comments on rape will stop women coming forward to report the crime, according to one commentator.
The MP said a rape allegation against Julian Assange was no more than bad "sexual etiquette". The alleged victim had already had sex with Assange and claims she was asleep during another interaction.
Galloway’s comments sparked anger and he later released a statement.
It read: "No never means yes and non-consensual sex is rape. There's no doubt about it and that has always been my position. What occurred is not rape as most people understand it. And it's important to note that the two women involved did not initially claim it."
Speaking on Scotland Tonight, journalist Martell Maxwell said the Respect MP’s comments would put women off coming forward.
She said: "Of course there are shades of grey; that’s why rape cases go to court. It’s not for George Galloway to be slicing up rape and categorising it. That’s just plain offensive.
"Somebody like George Galloway is surely threatening women coming forward. Often it’s one person’s word against the other because they have been the person in the room.
"George Galloway is basically saying rape cannot exist in husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend relationships as he said once you have agreed to it once you will agree again.
"George Galloway would do anything to get a headline but this time he’s gone too far."
John MacKay also heard from Sandy Brindley, the national co-ordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland.
She said there is a lot of work that needs to be done not only to clarify the public’s understanding of what constitutes rape but also to foster healthy sexual perceptions.
Ms Brindley said: "I think the law is very clear; if somebody’s sleeping and there’s sex it’s rape. George Galloway doesn’t seem to know the basics of what’s the law in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
"I think people do often think there are different levels of rape. Most people think it is a violent attack by a stranger and that’s what jury’s expect. We know that’s not the majority - most people are raped by somebody they know.
"I think we do need to do more work to make the public aware as to what rape actually is. When men are going out and targeting very, very drunk women there is no question that is rape. There’s a lot of work we need to do.
"We also need to do work around healthy sexual relationships. What kind of person wants to have sex with a woman who is sleeping or unconscious?"
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