Breaking news

Friday, 12 November 2010

Here's the news we've been hoping for all week - the government has confirmed that it will abandon its plan to grant anonymity to rape defendants.

This was a plan which, had it been put into place, would only succeed in sending out more clear messages that women who accuse men of raping them are liars, that they are not to be trusted and that they would be likely to face discrimination by the courts. No doubt the newspapers which worked so hard earlier this year to paint all rape victims as despicable homewreckers will be quick to show their anger at the government's decision.

For the time being, as I said in my last post, we need to continue working to support the women who need our help, continue busting the unpleasant myths surrounding rape and continue fighting for fairer representation of violence against women in the press.

Unfortunately the BBC is also reporting that the women jailed for 'falsely retracting' her rape claim has had permission to appeal against the eight month jail conviction she received last week turned down. Her appeal will now go to the Court of Appeal in London.

It's a pity that the good news has to be followed by something so shameful.


RedHead said...

This isn't good news. Sure, to the 90% of horrible serfs that are actually guilty, it's fair, but to the 10% that are falsely accused, it's all-destroying. Imagine having 'rapist' follow you around for the rest of your life, true or not. It goes against the justice system of innocent until proven guilty. If they're guilty, reveal away.

Hannah Mudge said...

As i've said before, i also agree that they are innocent until proven guilty but then so are those accused of all other crimes, but we do not give them anonymity. Innocent people accused of murder or child abuse will have that follow them around for a very long time too but there are no plans to extend anonymity to them. The lack of anonymity up until now has encouraged women to come forward with accusations against men like John Worboys and this is important.

Singling out rape as a special case for anonymity sends out the message that women are not to be believed. As it stands, very few women say they would report being raped, often because they feel they would be badly treated, not believed, accused of lying etc. I think thsi would make it worse.

sianandcrookedrib said...

RedHead, i don't think it is 10% that are falsely accused, the figure is closer to 3-5%. yes being falsely accused of a crime is awful but more people are falsely accused of insurance fraud than rape. the idea however is presented in the right wing media that 94% of rape accusations are false. by extending anonymity to rape defendants, the govt was endorsing the view that women are more often than not making it up. it's horrific.
naming rapists encourages victims to come forward. think how many more women john worbouys could have raped if he had not been arrested and charged, thanks in part by women recognising his face and coming forward.

men are getting away with rape every day. 100s of them. we should be trying to get justice for victims, not pandering to right wing lies.


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