Legendary rocker Chrissie Hynde has come under fire for suggesting that wearing sexy clothes can “entice” rapists.
“If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him,” the Pretenders singer said in an interview with the U.K.’s subscription-only Sunday Times Magazine. The interview has received widespread coverage after being picked up by British media outlets including the BBC and The Guardian.
The 63-year-old singer made the comments during a discussion about her memoir “Reckless: My Life as a Pretender.” As she recalled being sexually assaulted at age 21 by a motorcycle gang in Ohio while high on drugs, Hynde said it was “all her doing.”
“If you play with fire you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it?” she said when asked if the gang took advantage of her.
In “Reckless,” Hynde recounts the assault, saying she was forced to perform sex acts on members of the biker gang after they promised to take her to a party. Instead they took her to an abandoned house and assaulted her. During the Sunday Times interview, Hynde spoke at length about rape.
“If I’m walking around and I’m very modestly dressed and I’m keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I’d say that’s his fault,” she explained.
“If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and fu*k me,’ you’d better be good on your feet… I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
Hynde’s comments were immediately slammed by Lucy Hastings, director of British charity group Victim Support.
“Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered — regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable,” Hastings said in a statement to The Guardian.
“They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack — often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions,” Hasting continued. “It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organizations so they can get the help and support they need.”
Hynde’s book “Reckless” goes on sale in the U.S. on September 8.