to ask you if you feel that people accused of sex crimes should have their identities protected?

(81 Posts)
SoleSource Wed 20-Feb-13 12:02:40

This debate was featured on the This Morning programme.

55% of the phone in poll voted yes.
45% voted no.

I would have voted yes because false allegations can destroy lives.

Should a survivor get a say in if the media is given details is a thought. For some people having any details or a name/photo in their local newspaper would surely cause more distress maybe?

Morloth Wed 20-Feb-13 21:50:35

Yes, they should be even after found guilty.

Not because of their right to privacy, who gives a fuck about rapists?

But because of their victim's right to privacy.

Joiningthegang Wed 20-Feb-13 21:49:27

No

Sorry name not man

A few days ago I believe no person should be named until found guilty however since reading some posts I have changed my mind on this topic. If naming means more surviors of rape and sexual assault come forwards then there is a strong reason to name.

I was thinking as I read this thread. Would a point score system of who had their man published be better. If say the cps scored those charged on the benefit of releasing there name by:

Criminal history
relationship if any to accuser
Job (in case of highly accused like teachers)
Type allegation
Will it reveal the a victim

Just an idea????

thezebrawearspurple Wed 20-Feb-13 21:02:39

Agree with you worridmum, so sorry to hear about your brothersad.

worridmum Wed 20-Feb-13 20:53:18

I know someone who was falsely accused of rape his life was totally ruined so I voted yes and belive until our society can trust of justice system 100% there identies should be hidden as there are to many idiots out there that belive no smoke without fire rubbish.

and yes the damage to innocencant mens lives is a issue my DB who was accused of rape by a vandictive work partner (so she could assume control of the whole company) destoryed his reputation, even after she was convicted of preverting the cause of justice (got a bloody suspended sentace ffs such crap but thats a argument for another thread) was still honded by morons thinking he just got away with it crap and tried to take his own life because of the abuse. Basically with sex crimes the mud sticks and its nearly impossable to remove and god help you if you cant afford to leave the area as everyone will know and your life is ruined.

I belive if there is no protection for the accused intil found guilty I belive that if the algiations are found false the accuser should have their anomity removed and then they should get the same sentance as if they themsevles commited the crime of rape because a suspended setnace for ruining someones life just isnt a deterant is it?

TunipTheVegedude Wed 20-Feb-13 20:33:46

The problem is that if you are arguing for defendant anonymity in rape cases you are basically arguing for more rapes.

The very small number of serial rapists who are successfully prosecuted will drop even further and they will be free to carry on.
I wonder what number Worboys would have got up to by now.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 20:14:02

I think when its decided that there is enough evidence to charge or go to court then you should be treated like any other person in that suituation so no.

Domjolly Wed 20-Feb-13 19:48:55

Incconet until porven guilty and espically when it comes to crimes involving children even if your cleared people never really belive you didnt do it

So until found guilty i think you should not be exposed also vigilantes and mistaken id

When the lady who got killed in those falts they id the landlord and as usuall you got all the loavals saying "og we always knew he was strange" it wasnt him And it ruined his life he had to sell the flats ect

TheFallenNinja Wed 20-Feb-13 19:34:05

Accused - no. Convicted should have full page photo in all newspapers.

strawberryswing Wed 20-Feb-13 19:28:37

Imo both parties should remain anonoymous until a guilty verdict has been reached, though I think this should be the case for all crimes. I dont feel that theres anything to achieve by naming someone when it has not been proved that they've comitted any crime.

I assume the people saying the defendant should be named would be quite happy to have their name banded round the media accused of such crimes if they were innocent? Because I certainly wouldn't.

Saralyn Wed 20-Feb-13 18:15:50

The problem with identifying the accused is that then it is often impossible for the media to describe their relationship to the victim, because the victim would then also be identified.

This means than the media will name Mr Smith, and say that the victim was an 8 year old girl, but not explain that the girl was his niece.

If the accused was not identified, the media could report that a man han had molested his niece. This is how it is done in my country.

The problem with the british system as it is today is that people who read newspapers don't realise how many of these crimes are committee by friends/ family members.

I believe this is one of the reasons why there is such a strong fear of attacks by strangers in the UK, people think this is the norm.

I guess this is mostly is cases involving children, though. How is it done if Mr Smith is accused of raping his ex-girlfriend and identified in the papers, wont everybody then find out who the victim is as well?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Feb-13 18:13:10

Yes, definitely.

It makes no difference if there are no more people falsely accused of sexually violent crimes than there are of other crimes. A false accusation of rape does a lot more harm to a person emotionally, professionally and personally than a false accusation of burglary.

Even if there is only a tiny number of people whose lives have been destroyed through false accusations of rape, that still means some people have had their lives destroyed by it, and those people deserve to be protected by law as much as anyone else.

I don't give any weight at all to the argument that more victims might come forward if an allegation is made public. A victim has a responsibility to report a crime at the time it happens, and if they choose not to, as is their right, then that is down to them. If victims were encouraged to come forward at the time of the crime and were able to be reassured that as victims they would be treated well, then that would do much more to secure conviction rates than allowing accusations to become public would do.

MissAliceBand Wed 20-Feb-13 17:55:29

I would say that they should have their identities protected up to when they are formally charged with a criminal offence.

I think this is a happy medium, early enough that other victims can come forward before trial to help build cases against serials. Late enough to avoid the 'no smoke without fire' morons and tabloid idiocy that befall people who are foolish enough hmm to get themselves arrested and then released without charge.

I do think that should apply to all crimes though, and that journalists and idiot members of the public who go out of their way to publish names of people arrested and not charges should face charges of their own.

valiumredhead Wed 20-Feb-13 17:27:23

I agree Sole.

kim147 Wed 20-Feb-13 17:19:42

The law states innocent until proved guilty. Unfortunately the media don't often see it like that and nor do certain people. Even when someone is found innocent.

The onus should be on people to treat someone as innocent until found guilty.
But that's not easy.

It's important though that people are believed and the cycle is broken as it encourages people to come forward.

BenjaminButton172 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:11:21

I think there should be some sort of protection for anyone accused of a crime. No matter what that crime is. How many times has someone's picture been spread across newspapers with untrue stories made up about them?

Goodtalkingtoo Wed 20-Feb-13 16:09:59

I think everyone for any crime should have anonymity, being accused of any crime falsely, when made public ruins lives not just sex crimes

quoteunquote Wed 20-Feb-13 15:43:12

No, because I have seen countless times, people up on charges totally denying the charges, putting the victim through further unnecessary stress, total additional abuse, situations where as with most child abuse, it is their word against the attacker, it takes a huge amount of courage to come forward and help form a case, that will be taken forward,

and then when the name goes out, suddenly others come forward, and the victim is believed, and if enough come forward, the defendant changes their plea and the victims are spared being put through the hell of court, and having to relive their nightmare,

Sexual abuse steals your whole life, once someone has inflicted that on you, you live it forever, it affect everything.

There is a huge rate of abuse going on, and a tiny amount being successfully prosecuted.

It often takes one person to come forward, for others to find the courage to also step up,

Sexual abusers rely on isolating their victims, to grant anonymity will help them conceal their behaviour.

We need to break the cycle of abuse, we are not a civilised society until we do, it is shameful we seem unable to have a safe community.

how would it work anyway? The defendant would be granted anonymity, and then as soon as they spot their name being banned about on the internet, declare that the anonymity had been breached, so the case would be dropped, it can't work , unless we stop even bothering to try to bring some justice to these situations.

When people reach the moment when they report abuse, they find they open a flood gate in themselves, to not allow them to speak freely about their experience, would be very cruel, downright dangerous and be a further abuse on them.

Lockedout434 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:41:40

That they are liars and rapists.

Tut awful iPod

Lockedout434 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:40:31

I think this keeps coming up now as the savile investigations are getting higher and higher in the chain of government and judiciary quite a few people want their tracks hidden. They are putting this out to gauge public opinion and laying the ground work to try and change the ground swell of opinion.

If the accused are anonymous then a serial rapist has a better chance of denying the one charge. especially an upstanding middle class one The witness gets called a fantasist and a liar, vindictive and doing it for publicity oh and the money. The accused has a better chance against one but if there is shown to be a pattern of behaviour it's harder to prove.

cory Wed 20-Feb-13 15:07:39

It would of course be possible to grant all defendants anonymity. When I grew up in Sweden there was a gentleman's agreement among journalists that no names would be published until after the verdict in any criminal case, so defendants were always referred to as "the 46yo" or "the 52yo".

TroublesomeEx Wed 20-Feb-13 14:54:54

thezebra quite often school pupils will say something about a teacher as a way of 'getting back at them' or punishing them for something they are angry with them for, imagining that the teacher will get hauled into the HT's office and receive a telling off.

They have no idea that, due to the nature of the allegations, these sort of lies set balls rolling that the pupils didn't even know existed. Later they worry that owning up will get them into trouble and they imagine that eventually the whole thing will just die down. These lies take on a life of their own and destroy teachers' lives.

The relationship pupils have with their teachers are unique and mean that the children are unlikely to make similar allegations about other adults with whom they come into contact.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 20-Feb-13 14:36:48

Thanks for the link, must be awful for them.

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