The rise of Brits accused of rape abroad

A rising number of British women are being raped abroad. But who is to blame?

It’s a common sight in foreign holiday resorts: Young British twenty-somethings, partying, drinking and generally having a good time. And then a young woman gets raped.

This is what happened last month to a twenty-year-old English woman holidaying in Greece. She had invited a group of British men she’d just met back to her apartment to watch TV. She was then gang-raped.

Sadly these occurrences are all too frequent. The rape of British women abroad is on the increase, with 53 incidents reported so far this year. More shocking, however, is that the principal assailants are not locals, but our own British boys.

Greece, in particular, has been dubbed the most rape-prone country for British holidaymakers, accounting for over 32 incidents last year alone.

‘It has become glaringly obvious that unacceptable things are happening in our resorts,’ said Nikos Markakis, Crete’s leading law enforcement official.

‘The season has barely begun and already it has been sulled by incidents of rape involving Britons,’ he added.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office many English women are increasingly blaming fellow Britons for the attacks. In fact Britons abroad were involved in nearly 300 cases of rape and sexual assault in a year.  

More often than not alcohol and drugs have played a part, with excess alcohol cited by the three Britons arrested in June. ‘It’s out-of-control behaviour that is almost always brought on by outrageous binge drinking in bar crawls,’ said Markakis.

Furthermore, a total 944 arrests for drugs offences accounted for a seventh of all British nationals arrested abroad, with Thailand topping the list for the most drug-related offences.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is escalating its anti-rape campaign, with plans to distribute 100,000 posters, leaflets and beer mats throughout the resort, with the warning ‘rapes happen on holiday too’.

For more information on how to stay safe while abroad, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

For further help and support visit Rape Crisis.

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