Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is quite frightening...

Two months ago we heard that a young girl was raped in her own home in Essex by an intruder. She was quoted as giving a very detailed description of her attacker: "a black man, aged 18 to 20, with dirty teeth, one of them being distinctively clean. He is skinny and wore a grey top and loose ripped trousers, with a loop of chain down one side." Later an artist's impression of the attacker was released again based on her description. Now we are told that the rape claim was false. Now I have no way of knowing the details of the case and what is going on but I do know that only 6% of reported rapes lead to convictions in the UK and that police and prosecutors failing to "believe" victims is a key problem. I'd like to see the case reviewed.


lee said...

This is really awful. Not only is there the issue of false sexual assault allegations, but there is the also the issue that the false allegations are an act of racism. The accuser made a point of making it a black man who attacked her.

This happened to my son when he was 16-years-old and we had just moved to an all-white small town (very isolated small town)in the midwest. What had occured was that one of the male members of the victim's household had actually assaulted the child. However, when the police came the grandmother of the young victim took over and declared that she had seen a black man, dressed as my son was known to dress, who was running out of the house directly after the assault. I found out about this due to a family member calling me and telling me to get my son off the street as there was a "lynch mob" getting formed.

Thank goodness my son was out of town on a class field trip. And, also thank goodness that the local police officer did not believe the grandmother. Although, it took some time for the town to settle down and my son had to stay at home during that time period.

This news story is repulsive on several points.

SatManUK said...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1643937,00.html . At least the justice system does try to filter out the lies from the truth.

Cruella said...

Erm I think you've both sort of missed my point. My point is that only 6% of reported rapes ever lead to convictions and that this case has been dismissed very quickly and smells like another case of the police not taking allegations seriously.

Lee's point about racism is a very valid one (although unrelated to the pointI was making). My local police station has a sign up warning that reporting the loss of heavily insured items with the story that "two black guys mugged me" will not be accepted lightly, due to the levels of insurance fraud.

But both of you seem to be implying that there is some sort of large-scale problem with false reports of rape. I don't believe that there is. Sure there may be one or two - inevitably the media makes a big song and dance about them because the media loves to portray women as evil and scheming, thus leading to even less support for those who have actually been raped.

The possibility that this girl, like the one lee mentioned, has in fact been raped by someone inside the home and then pushed into giving a false description, is certainly one which had crossed my mind. My point was that when we KNOW that only 6% of rape victims are given the support they need to push for a conviction, should we be glibly dismissing cases without a fuller enquiry?