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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 05:10 GMT 06:10 UK
'I was date raped' says Mirren
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren: Regarded men as "vile" and "cruel"
Actress Dame Helen Mirren has revealed that she was date raped more than once as a young woman.

The 58-year-old told the Mirror newspaper that she was abused "not once either, several times".

She recalled that the "terribly upsetting and disturbing" attacks happened between the ages of 16 and 25, leaving her distrustful of men.

"I was being pursued by them purely for sex and absolutely nothing else," she said, adding that she came to regard men as "so vile and so cruel and alien and nasty".

She said: "I felt most men despised me as a person... it was like I was a piece of meat. In the end I realised that guys really were capable of this."

Few attacks reported

A Home Office report published earlier this year suggested that one in 20 women in England and Wales has been the victim of rape.

Those new figures suggest 167 women are raped every day, but only one in five attacks is reported to the police.

Currently only one in 13 cases ends with a conviction.

Dame Helen's disclosure about the attacks she endured came as she was being interviewed about reprising her role as DCI Jane Tennison in a sixth run of the hit ITV1 programme.

She received Oscar nominations for The Madness Of King George and Gosford Park.

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