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Nick Ross In 'Rape Isn't Always Rape' Row

Broadcaster Nick Ross has been forced to defend himself over controversial remarks suggesting "rape isn't always rape".

The former Crimewatch presenter made the comments in his new book, serialised in the Mail On Sunday, 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, 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."

In the extract from his book, Crime, 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."


                                                     [Protections for women criticised]

In response to the Mail On Sunday's publication, Ross said the paper had chosen to focus on a single chapter which "touches on the highly emotive issue of rape".

He admitted the edited version was fair but claimed his views were not as thoroughly explained as in the full text of the book.


                                               [Rapper urges rape suspect anonymity]

In his statement, Ross said: "For the record, lest it needs saying, and, as I make clear in the published extracts, anyone who suffers such a violating crime should be the centre of our concerns.

"As I write in the book, rape is one of the most defiling crimes and there is never excuse or justification for it."

But Sarah Green, campaigner with End Violence Against Women , said: "It's really disappointing - more than that, it's horrible - that a reputable journalist like Nick Ross, with expertise associated with crime through Crimewatch, is trotting out with the same spurious myths about rape."