Saturday, February 03, 2007

More on Rape Convivtion Rates

Great article by Julie Bindel in the Guardian really goes through the subject in detail. Again she is drawn to the remark by a former senior police officer (HamishBrown) that convictions are hard to generate. He says "If there is too much in the defence's favour, such as she was carrying condoms, it is unlikely to result in a conviction". How can the police justify sending out the message that if you carry condoms you are consenting to sex with any and everyone you meet. What is this going to do for rates of STDs and unwanted pregnancies? And if you can convince a rapist to use a condom then you definitely should because the last thing you need is AIDs and an abortion to go with the trauma of watching him get away with it.

One paragraph, and I know that one-off examples prove nothing, etc, but...

"In 1998, a headline appeared in the local Grimsby weekly: "Man faces rape charge". He had dragged a 15-year-old girl down an alley and assaulted her. The CPS decided not to pursue the case. That man was Ian Huntley. At the time, he was not seen as a danger to the public, and neither are the majority of other "opportunist" rapists who get away with it."


Christina S said...

I recently read Alice Sebold's book "Lucky" which is the story of her own rape when she was 18. I was staggered by how difficult it is to secure a rape conviction. Even in her case, when she was attacked in a park at night by a stranger, and very brutally raped and beaten.

m Andrea said...

So I don't understand what's happening accross the pond. I read this:

Where he says This sounds impossible, but the cool hard academic studies show it starkly: fewer than 1 in 100 rapists now end up behind bars. A British man has to rape over 50 women before it becomes statistically probable he will be sent to prison. As the feminist campaigner Julie Bindel puts it, "rape might as well be legal".

and this The first time a victim describes her ordeal is very often to a rape hotline, so they are in a unique position to help women go to the police - but many are going bust. In 1985, there were 68 women-only rape crisis centres or helplines in Britain. Today, there are only 32 - and they are closing at a rate of two a month, according to the Survivors Trust.

I am confused. American women would have had someone's head on a platter by now. Why are British women so apathetic? What other feminist issues are they apathetic about? Why do there seem to be few feminist British bloggers?

Seriously, what's going on over there?

m Andrea said...
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m Andrea said...

In the US, the previous sexual history, what the victim was wearing at the time, allowing the victim to be harrassed on the stand, etc, etc, are not allowed in trial as I think they are in UK. Although, now that I think about it, those things don't seem to help much with our conviction rates either.

But your rape laws reminds me of middle-eastern countries rather than a democracy. Seems like so many citizens carry hideious rape myths in their heads all the time. Is anybody doing a public service ad campaign?

What about your domestic violence laws? Are the conviction rates and so forth similar? My spidey sense is that women's equality is actually taking a backwards dive.

Wonder if the victim would get a better outcome if she just claimed robbery or regular assualt?

The more I think about this, the more ominous the future looks, frankly. How can everybody be sitting around declaring feminism is no longer necessary when the overwhelming sexist evidence is right in front of them?

Cruella said...

Yes I agree with much of what you say. They did make it illegal to bring up a victims sexual history but what defences do now is bring it up still but in a roundabout way - not that I can imagine how they can be allowed to get away wuth that. Thing is a significant proportion of the public believe women are at least partly responsible for thier own rapes.

...and we don't keep those people off the juries at rape trials, which we obviously should. Plus police attitudes really stink...

But then the real issue is why don't women make more of a fuss? I wish I knew how to get more women involved. There are of course groups of women who protest various issues but it's pretty limited. I think the rise of "lad" culture is a big problem but then why did we let that take over in the first place? Very frustrating here at the moment.