BBC Radio Scotland’s phone-in was criticised yesterday morning after a debate about rape went “badly wrong”.

The discussion on the Ched Evans case saw callers phoning up the Call Kaye show to blame women for being raped, and compare sexual assault to drink-driving.

“What kind of woman wants to be in a hotel room, blind drunk, making themselves vulnerable?” host Kaye Adams asked listeners.

One caller, Rachel, phoned up to say: “This lassie did have a history about doing this kind of thing. I would say it would be someone with self-esteem [issues]. What does she expect? She’s with young footballers.”

In 2011, the woman, who was 19 at the time, woke up alone in a hotel room in Rhyl with no memory of how she got there and what had happened. She went to police to report her missing handbag and because she thought her drink had been spiked. In their subsequent investigation police discovered that Evans and his colleague Clayton McDonald had both had sex with the woman. Evans did not say a word to her before, during or after intercourse and left through a fire escape door.

Evans was found guilty of rape in 2012, but had his conviction quashed in April when appeal judges ruled the defence could use evidence about the sexual history of the victim. A retrial found the footballer not guilty after two of her former partners came forward. This followed the father of Evans’s partner offering a £50,000 reward for more information on the woman.

BBC Radio Scotland’s discussion on who was deserving of sympathy in the case included Mike Buchanan, the anti-feminist leader of the Justice For Men And Boys party.

Buchanan, who left the Tories after Cameron introduced all-women shortlists into the party, believes rape law is “biased against men” and said Evans was the only person to feel sorry for in the case.

“Drunk men and women have been having sex since time immemorial. Why is it that only men are held to be responsible?” Buchanan asked, later suggesting the victim had a “taste for drunken sex”.

Rape Crisis Scotland National Co-Ordinator Sandy Brindley was also a guest on the programme. Adams asked if she felt any sympathy for Evans.

Brindley replied: “The only reason Ched Evans is no longer a convicted rapist is because of the use of sexual history evidence. I think that does make me quite reluctant to feel sympathy for him.”

Brindley added that it was likely the impact of the case would stop women coming forward and reporting abuse. “It’s taken us back 30 years in terms of rape reform and encouraging women to come forward and report rape, and I think that’s a genuine concern given what that woman’s been put through,” she said.

John called in to say: “She wasn’t exactly the vestal virgin, was she?

I mean she was supposed to be blotto drunk so how was she supposed to remember what happened?”

He added: “How can a drunk women know she’s been raped when she can’t remember what happened?”

Brenna in Edinburgh leapt to the defence of the victim, calling the BBC discussion “absolutely horrific”.

“The idea that bringing up a woman’s sexual history as though that is the most important element, and as though that is some judgment of her moral character ... frankly I don’t care if she does missionary or does any other bloody position, I think that women deserve respect for being women and the idea that this entire discussion can be centre around whether or not she put herself in a vulnerable position, ‘did she deserve it?’, ‘does she have self-respect?’ – that’s not what the conversation should be about.”

She added: “To be honest my message is just that, I wanted to use this platform to say to any survivors of sexual violence out there that I believe, we believe you, and there are so many people who are on your side.”

Responding to the anger expressed by listeners on Twitter, Adams wrote: “It is not for me to be judge and jury. A court has already ruled on this matter. My role is to facilitate a discussion which will inevitably include strong, divisive and, to some, unpalatable views.”

Zero Tolerance tweeted: “#CallKaye went badly wrong today – there is no ‘balance’ in this issue.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The Kaye Adams programme allows listeners to offer a broad spectrum of opinions and experiences on an issue which may, like today’s topic, have been widely debated in the press and elsewhere. There is no doubt that there are strong views in the public space and in the media – some declaring empathy and support for the accuser, others showing sympathy for Ched Evans, now acquitted after spending over two years in jail. Throughout the programme, Kaye repeatedly stated the facts of the case and clearly explained the impact on the accuser. Rape Crisis Scotland was given a sizeable portion of airtime. In addition to a broad range of callers, the programme also heard from a barrister to clarify the legal position.

“It is never our intention to offend and we take great care to ensure that debates are fair and balanced. The programme raised a number of important issues and we believe that a balance of opinion was achieved within the broadcast discussion.”

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