So in the wake of a massive public spotlight on rape, the priority apparently is to protect the reputations of the tiny % of men falsely accused of rape(340 Posts)
FFS FFS FFS
Is it very cynical of me to think that this new demand to enable anonymity for men accused of rape (most of whom are guilty, but get off anyway) is a psychological need to re-establish what is most important to these woman-haters?
Stop talking about the mountain of rape victims who never get justice and FGS start talking about the anthill of men who get falsely accused.
Enough of Steubenville, Delhi, Frances Andrade, Jimmy Savile's victims, the 1 in 4 women who are raped or sexually assaulted.
Let's get back to talking about the really important issues - the miniscule number of men who will be falsely accused of rape or who will be the victim of mistaken identity. Fools, don't you know they're more important than all those rape vicitms? That that's a much bigger issue? So what 25% of women are subjected to rape or sexual assault? So what if 85-90% of rape victims don't report? So what that of those who do, only 6% get a guilty verdict even though only between 2-6% are lying or mistaken? Let's get some perspective on this - men matter more than women, stop imagining they don't.
Fuming but off to bed.
Fastidia it is all about focusing on men and their "issues" again, rather than their appalling and violent behaviour. It is avoiding naming the problem, male violence and turning it round to blaming women, again. The patriarchy are excellent at moving the focus of attention away from men's behaviour.
And it is about eroding women's rights. Just in case women got the idea that men give them back their rights out of the goodness of their heart and we don't have to continually fight to maintain the status quo.
Basically they want to continue using violence against us but without us knowing who they are. And if they get this it won't stop there. They'll want anonymity for DV cases, child rape and paedophilia etc etc.
In this country it's innocent until proven guilty
Unfortunately many people in this country see an accusation as guilt and will persecute that person -we all know hate mobs exist and it's not only the accused that suffer -its their family too
And yes false accusations take place -that for me is a bigger issue as to why people don't report
I fully understand that the victim is suffering but as a large proportion of victims know their attacker doesn't the public flogging also out the victim? Bang goes their right for anonymity!
i think it is a fundamental lack of, or inability to empathise i think for most men (i want to believe that it is only a small % who are trying to reposition the issue as a poor old men one)
they can see themselves accused by someone, but not victimised by someone
I agree chibi. Despite the fact that they are far more likely to be victims of rape than ever accused of it (unless of course they are rapists! Then one or two accusations may be flung their way if they are "unlucky" enough to rape a woman who reports it).
I also think that there is an inherent belief that women lie. Again, despite the fact that it is the rapists doing the lying. Over and over again. All the time.
But the only reason rape victims can't believed is because of all the ones who "cry rape" against an innocent man.
These women are the problem.
Why aren't there calls for men who are accused of burglary, or fraud to get anonymity then?
Any accusation of any crime will be pretty disastrous for a man.
It is simply untrue to say that an untrue rape allegation is more disastrous for a man than any other type of untrue allegation of a crime.
Most people believe a man who has been accused of rape, who tells them that he's not guilty and that it was a big misunderstanding or the woman is malicious. They are far more ready to believe that a man accused of rape is innocent, than that a man accused of most other crimes are innocent. There is not a great big perception that most people accusing other people of burglary are liars the way there is about women who accuse men of rape, even though people who report burglary are statistically just as likely to be lying.
No, it comes down to the idea that women are the weaker vessel, unable to be trusted, morally incompetent and prone to lying. That is where this rape myth comes from.
I knew the rape apologists would be out in force on this thread.
Zippy that was a rhetorical thing btw, urging us all to talk about false allegations.
But thanks for demonstrating the usual eagerness of rape apologists to make sure the debate always centres round the tiny proportion of false allegations, rather than the actual major problem of rape.
You can always be relied upon can't you?
Let's see how many other posters come up with the crap about false allegations being the real problem shall we.
Sausagesandwich, do you think all people accused of all crimes should get anonymity?
Why don't you, just for once, discuss the women who falsely report rape? Because if these individuals didn't falsely report, then it would'nt be an issue would it?
Isn't that an avenue you should be heading down? Because, I'm sorry, but the hideous attacks that men are subjected to (as Zippy illustrated) are more of a concern, frankly. It's very telling that not one person has expressed even the tiniest hint of sadness at the horrible death that an innocent man suffered.
Very, very poor. And a very big reason why feminists struggle to engage with the wider world.
How many false accusations are there compared to real reports? A massive difference. It's awful that someone is attacked and villified - mud sticks even though they are innocent. It says a lot about our society about how people are treated before the actual trial.
But why should people accused of rape be given anonymity? Should alleged child abusers? Murderers? I know that if it helps encourage other victims to come out if they have seen someone accused in the media - that can only be a good thing.
I think the potential good outweighs the potential harm. People who have been found innocent or who have not come to trial yet should not be subject to attack - but I bet that happens to people who are alleged to have done other crimes as well.
But you want to focus and talk about the false accusations?
Well I'm afraid I do agree with the identities of men falsely accused of rape being protected. And whose fault is it that men are falsely accused of rape. Why no other person than the women who are accusing them. They are the ones you should blame. Not the system or the men in question.
^ In this country it's innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately many people in this country see an accusation as guilt and will persecute that person -we all know hate mobs exist and it's not only the accused that suffer -its their family too^
I agree with this. I think that people (women as well as men) who are accused of sexual crimes should have their anonymity protected at least until charges are brought. These crimes are perceived as more heinous than burglary or mugging and people tend to react far more strongly to accusations.
Unfortunately of course anonymity would prevent other victims coming forward. So I don't really know where I stand on this (that was a waste of a post wasn't it? ).
yes, it is terrible that a man died.
it is also terrible that many people who are raped never see charges brought against their attackers, let alone convictions
it is also good that it is possible for people to come forward and tell their stories when an accused's name is made public - i am thinking particularly of john worboys,but he is certainly not the only one
it is possible for the above statements to be true simultaneously without canceling each other out i reckon
"Why don't you, just for once, discuss the women who falsely report rape? Because if these individuals didn't falsely report, then it would'nt be an issue would it?"
Because it's not "just for once" is it?
It's all that's ever discussed around rape.
It absolutely dominates the public discourse on rape.
And yet it is an absolutely tiny problem in comparison to the very real problem of 25% of all women being subjected to sexual assaults.
And by saying that it is false allegations that are stopping women from reporting, you are repeating a rape myth, which is against Mumsnet rules.
It is not false allegations, it is the disproportionate attention paid to them in the public discourse around rape.
Women don't come forward because they know they won't be believed. Not because a tiny minority of people lie, but because the public discourse is determined to keep that tiny minority as a huge bogey man in the public consciousness.
A tiny minority of people lie about being burgled, being mugged, being the victims of all sorts of crime.
But the public discourse around those crimes, is not dominated by that tiny minority.
The reason rape is, is because of sheer misogyny - the idea that women are liars and men never lie about rape.
It is a rape myth and those of you coming on here to repeat it, are repeating rape myths.
You already have a 1 in 4 chance of being sexually assaulted up to and including rape, if you are a woman. Those of you who are men, the females in your life who you love, have that 1 in 4 chance. Every time you repeat a rape myth, you are contributing to the culture which makes it easy for men to rape women and so you make your female loved-one's life (or your own) that little bit less safe from sexual attack.
Well done you.
The thing that is preventing women coming forward is the fact that men lie about rape. They know the man who raped them will lie and he will be believed. That and victim blaming.
there is a fundamental lack of understanding here of how policing works- do posters think you can just pootle on down to the police station, announce that someone has raped you, and that's it, they are arrested?
i would be very surprised to hear if this were actually the case
I would imagine people accused of offences against children are more subject to attack than other crimes.
I think the question of how to encourage more women to report rape and how to secure more convictions is a difficult one. I certainly know of one person who did not want to report because although their anonymity would be protected, it would be obvious who they were once news got out around friends that this person had been arrested. It would also have reached the papers and the idea of people asking about it and being associated with it for years to come was too much to bear. Perhaps anonymity for the rapist would have actually helped.
Forgot to say:
'I think the potential good outweighs the potential harm.'
That's very easy for you to say Kim. I very much doubt that if you were ever falsely accused you would take it on the chin for the greater good.
The trial linked to earlier hasn't finished, has it?
Those who are horrified about the man who was murdered are missing the point:
He was murdered because of male violence.
It wasn't women who murdered him - it was other men.
Start addressing the problem of male violence and you start addressing the problem of vigilantism.
For that matter, start giving women justice for rape and yobbos like this won't feel that the only way to get justice, is by going in for horrific violence in the first place.
'And by saying that it is false allegations that are stopping women from reporting, you are repeating a rape myth, which is against Mumsnet rules.'
I'm sorry, but wtf? How the hell do you know it's a myth? Have you actually spoken to these women? All of them? Not one said that?
This is just ridiculous.
"Every woman who falsely cries rape puts every other woman in danger. Because they are then at the risk of not being believed. The women who falsely cry rape set any femminist cause back a millionfold."
Bullshit. Another rape myth. Why aren't you saying that about men who lie about being burgled, or having their car stolen?
Shame and victim blaming was the major reason my friend did not report
Masses of rape victims confirm that the reason they don't report is because they know they won't be believed.
That's not because a tiny percentage of women falsely allege rape. It's because of the disproportionate focus on that tiny percentage in all discourse about rape.
No-one's afraid to report their car being stolen or their house being burgled, because public discourse doesn't disproportionately focus on those arseholes who make false allegations about those crimes.
And yet they are just as likely to be lying, as the average rape victim.
'It wasn't women who murdered him - it was other men.'
And yet we live in a 'rape culture' where men think it's ok for other men to rape? Men killing other men for 'allegedly' raping is surely at odds with that, no?
This graph says it all for me. It's based on US stats but the picture is similar here.
And again, what comes out in force is the horror that an innocent man might be falsely accused (he's more likely to be raped by another man) and no horror about the horrifically high level of sexual violence men inflict on women.
But surely because of the disproportionate focus on false allegations they do have a profound effect? Or is it chicken and egg? Or have I misunderstood?
Start addressing the problem of male violence and you start addressing the problem of vigilantism. For that matter, start giving women justice for rape and yobbos like this won't feel that the only way to get justice, is by going in for horrific violence in the first place.
This is a really good point.
No SF it isn't.
It's not difficult to grasp unless you're quite hard of thinking.
Feeling indignant and outraged by another man raping someone you care about, doesn't conflict with having a generally indifferent attitude to other women in the world being raped.
Thejoyfulpuddlejumper I don''t think that was a waste of a post. I think it's good to air your thoughts around it and throw things out there to get feedback.
I imagine that the are fewer women who falsely cry rape than there are men who are wrongly found guilty of rape.
Therefore if the justice system wants to err on the side of caution (treat people as innocent until proven guilty) then it should offer more protection to women who accuse men of rape.
What I really, really fail to understand is why information about a man's previous convictions or charges are not allowed to be disclosed to the jury but in the same trial that anything and everything that could be brought up about the woman's background is considered to be relevant.
That strikes me as so unjust. If a woman's character has to be dragged through the mud then the mans should be too. Lets at least level the playing field.
It strikes me that any woman who accuses a man of rape has to go through a process of proving that she is not making a false accusation.
I despair when I hear about women, such as lara's friend who can not bear to bring a rape incident to the policy's attention because of the trauma it, and any subsequent trial, would put her through.
Whatever Fastidia. You stick to your narrative. False accusations do huge damage, deny all you like. You hinder more than you help. One day you might understand that, but I won't hold my breath.
False allegations don't cause anywhere near the amount of havoc real rapes cause SF.
25% of women are raped or sexually assaulted.
85-90% don't report.
Of all reported rapes, only between 2-6% are false allegations. Of that tiny number of false allegations, half of them are not "false" they are either cases of mistaken identity or women who say they have been raped but don't name an alleged rapist.
But you carry on thinking that it's a bigger issue than a quarter of all women being raped or sexually assaulted. Because of course it is, it affects men and their lives are so much more valuable than those of women, aren't they?
I don't think Sigmunde is saying that at all. But I do think that false allegations can have a huge effect because they are so focused on. So they are still an issue aren't they?
Plenty that is really useful, thanks.
I am very sick of this discussion always coming back to false accusations.
No more than for any other crime joyfulpuddlejumper.
There will always be people who report crimes that don't exist, until we live in a perfect society. Just as there will always be people who fiddle their taxes, or the benefit system or whatever.
The question is how much of the public discussion should focus on that tiny percentage of dishonest people, versus the much bigger percentage of honest ones.
The other day there was a story in the news about a bunch of fraudsters who were responsible for a woman dying in a car-crash because they wanted to collect the car insurance that would be paid out by causing a road traffic collision.
Should we start treating every single motorist in a traffic collision, as if they are fraudsters who engineered the collision deliberately to collect on the insurance?
Would that be a reasonable, proportionate response to the undoubtedly serious problem of people who do this?
I don't think it would be. We all know it happens, we know it's a problem, but we also know that it is a tiny problem compared to the number of road traffic collisions that were genuinely unintentional. But why don't we just focus on it while ignoring the huge number of genuine traffic accidents? Because we're not mad for a start and because we don't think that motorists are a particularly dishonest and untrustworthy category of human beings. While women who say they have been raped, are.
Oh I'm not saying that the false allegations should be focused on - as you say, they are a tiny proportion of all reports. What I'm saying is that because they are so focused on they are relevant and have to be discussed, if only to dismiss them.
(Sorry if that doesn't make much sense, very tired today).
No I get what you're saying, it's just that we have to focus on them all the time to refute them as a major issue IYSWIM.
SigmundFraude wrote - "Why don't you, just for once, discuss the women who falsely report rape?"
Do you want us to discuss only the women who make false accusations of rape, or also the men who make false accusations of rape?
He certainly doesn't want us to discuss the men who lie about having raped does he
Women are (rightly) jailed for making false accusations of rape. However some of these cases have raised concern that some have been jailed wrongfully. Where is the outcry about this?
Imagine coming forward with an allegation and all this entails only for the law to turn against you!
Gail Sherwood was raped and jailed for daring to complain about it.
Society is using the "false allegation" thing to get us to STFU about men raping us.
The amount of attention it gets is disproportionate to its incidence.
It is a smoke screen.
I don't mean that in a conspiracy sort of way I mean in a way of creating an obstacle to the real issue
I have, thankfully, never been raped. I have been sexually assaulted more times than I can count and always been told to STFU about it. When I was younger and going out a lot, I'd be groped every single time and when I went to complain to security or screamed at the guy who'd done it, my friends would always drag me away, tell me to calm down, tell me it was no big deal.
This is the culture we are living in, where a man can grab your arse if he wants to and you just have to put up with it, or even be flattered by it.
MT - you're unreasonable and mad if you're not flattered by it.
But if the same bloke rapes you later on, people then say "well why didn't she complain when he grabbed her arse earlier on? She didn't seem to be particularly bothered by his attention then".
But if you are bothered by it, you're overreacting.
It does annoy me that otherwise reasonable human beings throw the "but what about all the false accusations????" Thing in to a discussion. They often have no idea of the statistics that OP has stated and they just use it because, when a woman is proved to be lying, it is splashed all over the media, giving it a much higher weighting than it should have if you actually look at the statistics.
Basically, the statistics boil down to this. 100 women in a room. 25 of them have been sexually abused and/or raped. If we use 5% as our 2-6% of false accusations, 1 and a quarter of those women are lying. Less than that if you consider what OP said about half of those not naming or mistaking the identity of their rapist.
But then, as a crime, rape isn't taken seriously. Women are not allowed to feel like they have ownership of their bodies without being called lesbians or frigid. Go to any night club and look around - females are expected to expect and allow any random person coming up and running thir hands over their bodies, grabbing their bums and breasts. Actually, this is a form of sexual assault - but no one says it because its all just a bit of fun.
Too right Fastidia . I actually did give up saying anything after a while because my friends would always complain about it and I thought for a while that maybe it wasn't a big deal.
Gone back to my old ways now, though. Last time I went out with my partner, some knob grabbed my arse. I turned round and shouted at him. He turned to my partner and said something about keeping me under control, my partner just laughed in his face and told him not to be a dick.
What kind of fucking shit thing is that to say? Keep me under control?
blueberry yes I do think people's identity should be protected prior to trial for all crimes
How can anyone possibly have a fair trial when in big cases their names are plastered all over the media?
With specific reference to rape, a small proportion are not reported as the victim is aware she may well be accused of crying rape.
I larger portion, IMO, is because so often rape happens within a relationship -where is the proof that that rape ever took place? There is no way they would prosecute on that basis so why put yourself through it?
I'm certainly not saying that is right but it would certainly account for a large number of unreported cases
Sausage could you please not use the term "crying rape".
This is a term which is incredibly loaded and buys into all the rape myths that women regularly lie about rape.
It's really offensive and triggering to women who have been raped but didn't report because they knew they'd be accused of "crying rape". I realise you may not have meant to offend by using it, so would you just take that on board please?
*With specific reference to rape, a small proportion are not reported as the victim is aware she may well be accused of crying rape.
I larger portion, IMO, is because so often rape happens within a relationship -where is the proof that that rape ever took place? There is no way they would prosecute on that basis so why put yourself through it?*
Isn't that basically the same thing though?
I can't recall the statistics, but I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of women are raped by men they know. What is the difference between nto reporting rape because they have no proof and not reporting rape because they think they will be accused of "crying rape"? They are basically the same thing.
blueberry that term has been used several times on this thread so didn't realise it was an issue -no offence meant
Being accused of making a false allegation and not having enough evidence for the CPS to prosecute is not the same thing, no
Sorry sausage, I read your original post as you saying that of the rapes unreported, some don't report because she is worried about being accused of making it up, while others don't report because she is worried there isn't enough evidence...therefore it looking like she is making it up, IYSWIM.
That's what I thought Twll. It all comes from the same place. A woman is not considered a credible witness and the man is (despite there being way in excess more evidence that they are far more likely to be lying.)
And what gets me is, even if it was a stranger rape, there is physical evidence, be it semen, bite marks, scratches, tears, bruising etc, it is still, in 2013, allowed for the opposing counsel to say "well she was wearing a short skirt, so what could she expect?" "well, she has previously had one night stands, so whos to say she didn't ask for it?" "well she works in a bar, got divorced, had an affair, put red lipstick on..."
And people still accept that.
The older I get, the more I am sickened by the people of this world.
click on graphic for full picture
I wonder if I can repost that link on facebook. It might be a good way to cull a lot of the dickheads...
What gets me is that people are so keen to believe rape myths; women lie, most allegations are false, it's only rape if it's a stranger down a dark alley etc. etc. etc. They just absorb them and repeat them without ever stopping to think. And yet most of those people would be outraged by a sex crime against a child. Do they think there's some magic switch thrown when a girl reaches 16 that means sex crime against her doesn't count any more? Or that turns her into someone who is really keen to make a false complaint, really keen to go through intrusive and distressing investigations and court procedures?
Mind you, I suppose lots of people are keen to believe all kinds of bollocks. Difference is when it's urban myths or stories about how words are derived or the mad idea that thousands of people involved in the moon landings all agreed to engage in a massive conspiracy, it's fairly harmless.
edam I suspect it's because if a woman can convince herself that rape victims are 'other' then she can convince herself that it won't happen to her.
edam I think that if people started facing up to rape myths they'd have to face up to everything else as well. Once you start looking at things through a feminist lens, it is very hard to take it all in. I have always been a feminist, but probably only really saw how bad things were in my late 20s. And I was very very angry and depressed for a long time because of it. Even now, I have to switch my brain off to it or I am just overwhelmed by all the shit.
It is far easier to just block everything out and pretend it doesn't happen.
Like Joyful says, it's far easier to "other" rape victims and then it will never happen to you, because you're too careful/not a slut/not an idiot/not a tease.
You see it in everything. So many women I know call other women "slags" and "sluts" and "whores" because of their sexual choices/clothing. It depresses the hell out of me particularly because if there is any debate about eg Page 3, they just shrug and say it's a woman's choice.
I believe all people should be treated equally before the law.
If the accused is named in public then so should the accuser.
If the accused is anonymous then so should the accuser be.
Can I ask - what is the actual reason given for people being named in some cases and not others? Or is it a blanket thing and I am just a bit dense
Treating people equally before the law does not mean treating them the same. Helena Kennedy is very good on this.
Would there be more or less convictions if anonymity remained for both the victim and the accused?
And if everyone is being treated equally, does that mean that if the accuser has their past dragged up in front of the court, the accused should too?
Does anonymity have an impact on the conviction rate? I'm talking about cases involving Joe Public, not any celebrities/known people.
It's a genuine question, would the conviction rate be higher or lower regardless of who or what station they occupy.
Helena Kennedy writes very eloquently on this subject. There are very good reasons why defendants in rape cases are not granted anonymity.
First, no other defendant is granted anonymity. Leading human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich says:
"Allowing defendants in rape cases, but not those charged with other offences, to remain anonymous would be discriminatory because it would apply almost exclusively to men."
From THIS article. It goes on to say Alleged terrorists don't get anonymity, so let's not make rape a special case. Defendants already get quite enough compared to their victims.
Secondly, corroboration is very important when it comes to convicting serial sex offenders. Both in getting a conviction against them in a court, and in getting victims to come forward and report crimes against them.
From the same article: Women who had not previously had the confidence to report a rape were often inspired to do so after seeing media reports naming and picturing the same man, experts said, and allowing the accused to remain anonymous would prevent such breakthroughs.
They also expressed concern that the proposal, which is intended to protect men from the damaging impact of "false allegations", gave the impression that women frequently lie about rape and could put them off coming forward, hitting the already low conviction rate.
"I think that if people started facing up to rape myths they'd have to face up to everything else as well."
I think there's a lot in that.
It's like opening Pandora's box, isn't it.
I do agree op, I was gang raped age 13 by boys a similar age to me, they received a fine and 12 month youth offenders course, I received a total of £300 compensation for something that has damaged my life terribly.
In 2010 age 19 my ex boyfriend raped me on my own bed a few weeks after I ended it with him, and he was round collecting his stuff. I saw little point in reporting it as the punishment dealt out is so lenient its a slap on the wrist, plus there would likely never be a conviction due to him being my ex and obviously slept with him previously, it would be his word against mine.
the only reason the first people were prosecuted was because out of the 10 or so people that witnessed what happened to me only one guy actually informed the police. The rest stayed loyal to their rapist friends.
I feel sorry for any guy wrongly accused of rape, I hate women who do that as they make it harder for genuine victims. But let's not pretend its anywhere near the scale of sexual violence against women, it isn't and never will be. As a woman and victim of sexual assault I do not have faith in the justice system when it comes to rape. Not enough is done even when the offender is found guilty.
Sorry for this rant but occasionally this issue really gets to me.
Angelttc I'm so sorry all that happened to you.
I hope you've recovered OK.
A good article on why anonymity for defendents is wrong. It explains, in some part, the traumas a victim goes through in court. But of course, it is so much more than just what happens in court. It is the reporting, the reaction of friends/family, the reaction of the perpetrator, the aftermath of the court case. None of it is right and all of it adds up to why women don't report and to some extent why convictions don't happen.
If this had been in force when John worboys's first victims came forward, he would still be driving around in his cab raping women.
Women are acceptable collateral damage in a way men aren't.
That is a really good way of putting it Artex.
Quite late to this but agree with Fastidia and most posters on here.
WRT to anonymity and false allegations - surely that's a red herring, in most cases of false allegations the alleged victim usually doesn't name a perpetrator. The idea that there are all these women 'crying rape' and that poor menz need protecting them doesn't stand up. It just helps to support rape myths and rape apologists.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
wow. That is seriously useful to know Stewie, thank you.
Can I ask if someone can enlighten me? (also posted in legal)
In the case of John Warboys, the taxi driver rapist. Did he stand trial in all the cases separately or was there a collective trial where all the charges were brought together?
If the police ask for other victims to come forward to support a prosecution are they coming forward to stand as corroborating witnesses or is their allegation taken into consideration in some other way?
I hope someone can help me make sense of this as I have been told a case must be made on an individual basis, but I seem to remember cases where the charges were against serial rapists and there was no indication of separate trials for each victim. Another one that comes to mind is the recent Rochdale gang. anyone help me understand how a serial rapist is dealt with in court?
Posted too soon..... what about when police ask for other potential victims to come forward? Are they coming forward to act as corroborative witnesses or will charges be heard at that trial for their case?
Sorry to be dense!
I haven't read the whole thread but from the OP is there a a move within govt to change the law on this or has something else happened? who is making the new demand for anonimity?
It's the condems again Trekkie
Thanks YNK that is from 2010 though?
I know we went through all of this on here a couple of years back when it was being raised - and they dropped the plans which obviously was good BUT even tabling these ideas can have an adverse effect on perceptions. Tactic used by the US right etc moving the overton window and all that. I was concerned that it was back on the table again.
It was some QC who raised the issue again, in light of Michael Le Cell's arrest
Stewie, thank you for explaining the FBI's 'unproven' category, that's really helpful.
not just some QC, sadly, a high court judge and chair of the Bar Council no less. Disgusting quisling.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks SGM. Shocking to think he was believed to have started offending as early as 2002. How many women could have been spared if the first woman had been believed!
Ah yes thanks edam and SGM. Bless her!
I have a family member accused so up until last night I thought that not naming anyone until found guilty was the thing to do.
However one lady on a thread I was posting on said that in her rape case reporting it in the papers helped two over women step forward. That is a very strong arguement that has made me rethink media coverage.
That article has a serious DM spin (shocker!).
If you read what the barrister/judge is quoted as saying, she says there is an argument both for and against. They have padded that out with stories about men being falsely accused and put a sensational headline and Voila! classic DM article.
Christ the comments....
WHY WHY WHY did I look at them ARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Someone posted on the recently deleted AIBU thread when I think she withdrew a rape allegation, despite what sounded like a horrendous experience when a man known to her entered her room and assaulted her.
The effects of withdrawing the allegation have been awful on her and her family. Ostracised by the community and at the school gate. And a lot worse.
And as has been pointed out above, what does "a false allegation" actually mean?
Communities are small and they know what's going on.
Yes that DM article is a classic in not hiding its agenda, bias or misogyny.
Brilliant points on this thread Fastidia. Thank you
The focus should be on helping the thousands of women who are raped by men.
This thread has completely changed my opinion regarding anonymity. I had fallen for the media view and believed that it would be the right thing to do.
Not after reading this though. I will be re-reading this thread so that I can get all the arguments against anonymity straight in my head, ready to argue the case with friends and family.
I browse the feminist threads and often my opinion is shaped, tweaked or I roll my eyes and wander off. This thread as you say Ilovexmastime, has really made me think and change how I see the way rape is portrayed. Excellent points showing how massively biased and unbalanced it is against women and in ways you don't even recognise because they are so 'normal'.
Let the trolls starve
Exactly! I'm embarassed to say that I hadn't even thought about women coming forward after reading about a rapist in the paper, and yet it is so obvious.
Oh yes, my local paper reports virtually nothing else - page after page of stories about women being raped, along with pictures of the poor accused, who haven't even been found guilty of anything. Chock-a-block it is - there's barely room for any other stories. In fact, it's just like the national press with its insatiable need to vilify men and its insistence on printing stories about women walking around in short skirts and not even getting punished for it up a dark alley somewhere...
Rape victims have never had it so good.
Sorry, that was to "feminist" 12312.
Angel, I'm so sorry
Is the anonymity of rape victims really so very different to the rest of the law?, when a case gets to court, the victim is not the accuser, she (or he of course) is a witness. The case is not "ms X against Mr Y". And our court system has always made provision for the protection of vulnerable witnesses (screens, video evidence, anonymity etc). Did the right to anonymity for victims come from a decision that all such witnesses have a high probability of being vulnerable?
Not a lawyer so the above may be incorrect.
Fastidia, I want to be you when I grow up.
Doctrine yes, she's a witness and the defence try to show she is unreliable. That's their job. The accused is innocent until proved guilty. Not his word against hers, two evenly balanced sides, but hugely in his favour. The vast majority (over 95%) never get to court anyway.
The 'yes means yes' piece shows how many men admit to rape - if it's not called rape, and sometimes if it is
I'm glad this thread has been so thought provoking and has helped people think about the damaging effects of special treatment for those accused of rape.
Good grief, just followed the link to the surveys of men. Horrifying how many confess to rape and repeated rape if you describe it rather than using the word rape.
FastidiaBlueberry-"It is simply untrue to say that an untrue rape allegation is more disastrous for a man than any other type of untrue allegation of a crime."
I really wish you could spend an hour with my husband ..he is a broken man...broken by a women who accused him of historic abuse and rape, a crime I know 100% he had not commited. He has been fully investigated and has NO CASE TO ANSWER. The sheer hell of being investigated for 6 months finished him.There are many men in the same position up and down the country.
To say that being accused of rape is not more disastrous for a man than any other crime just shows how narrow minded you are.
If you are going to pass comment on this very emotive subject at least have the decency to do it with an open mind please.
Maisere, I'm sorry that happened to your husband. But a six month investigation for fraud or murder might well have been equally devastating. Or do you see it differently?
chibi Sun 17-Feb-13 11:53:09
there is a fundamental lack of understanding here of how policing works- do posters think you can just pootle on down to the police station, announce that someone has raped you, and that's it, they are arrested?
i would be very surprised to hear if this were actually the case
YES THEY CAN AND DO
Maisere, was it mistaken identity or falsification in your husband's case, if you are able and willing to say?
TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Yes it is very different unless the man is a rapist because he won't give a hoot anyway.....
For an innocent man to be accused of such a crime is soul destroying, ask yourself one question if it was you accused how would you feel, what emotions would you suffer ??
It was falsification in my hubbies case.
I always think that there are loads of crimes that are just as bad / worse to be accused of than rape of an adult. Things like paedophilia or child porn or torture or murder or pimping or trafficking children for slavery or trafficking adults for prostitution against their will.
Yet it's only rape of an adult woman by a man that people want to see anonimity for.
Why is that I wonder...
Falsely accused men are victims too, as are their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers... Being falsely accused means having being threatened with and being on the receiving end of vigilante violence, it means harassment for the family, it means loss of job/career and all future job prospects even when found innocent (because most people think like you do, that they were probably guilty anyway and got away with it), it means social ostracisation for the whole family including children.
I don't see anything feminist about supporting destroying the lives and reputations of innocent men and their families.
The fact is that so long as you are going to prosecute someone on the basis of anothers word with no other evidence necessary, then you have to provide anonymity until it is proven in court. If we were to prosecute people on charges of drug trafficking or murder on the basis of one persons allegation without any proof to suggest such a thing ever took place, I'm sure there would be many innocent people being prosecuted of those crimes on the basis of malicious allegations and many more allegations of that nature being made as certain people realise the power they can wield over neighbours/colleagues/strangers who have slighted them in some way.
Some people (a tiny minority) are just liars, they lie about all sorts of things, my friend was a victim of her neighbours making false claims to ss because they were trying to drive her out as they didn't want blacks there (yeah right, women don't lie, those nasty, racist women tried to destroy her family), whether it is about being malicious, attention seeking for themselves or revenge, there are people who lie and that needs to be recognised, liars lie about all sorts of things, including abuse. Denying that doesn't help rape victims, allowing innocent people's lives to be ruined doesn't further anyone's rights.
Most rape allegations are genuine, keeping names out of the headlines until convicted means that will be far less public attention to the small number of false allegations as those men won't be publicly victimised and branded. Putting the spotlight on men who are later found innocent makes people (future juries) more suspicious of rape claims in general. Juries will be far more hesitant of convicting where the evidence proves that he did it if their heads are full of stories of wrongly accused men, you need them focused on the case in hand without prejudice.
What we really need to discourage rape is harsh sentencing upon conviction and a culture where rape is unacceptable. Keep the media exposure to those convicted and the attention is on rape victims, let the pubic get angry about that.
Do you also support anonymity for those accused of murder?
Your talking different crimes which are both horrendous but different.
How many murderers are known as a nonce and subject to vigilante revenge
in their own homes when found not guilty? Not many..... where I live murder would be a badge of honour ! I firmly believe that any criminal should serve a whole sentence and hopefully be left to continue the life they have left. Should they re-offend then its the system that is wrong and not fit for purpose. I don't see reports of murder which are false and malicious either.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Maisere, I am thinking of Joanna Yeates's landlord who was under suspicion for her murder for a while.
The answer might be more overall curbs on media behaviour.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Until you have had a loved one wrongly accused, I don't think you have a clue what you are talking about.
It is devastating and can completely ruin lives.
Maybe too many men aren't prosecuted, there are huge flaws in the system.
However, this is not the fault of the innocent.
Thankfully we have a justice system of innocent until proved guilty and I would like to keep it that way, especially for those who are innocent.
"Most rape allegations are genuine, keeping names out of the headlines until convicted means that will be far less public attention to the small number of false allegations as those men won't be publicly victimised and branded."
Wrong. Before 1975, there was anonymity for defendants accused of rape. There was no less "public attention to the small number of false allegations" then than there is now - the first subject of discussion was in fact, how many false allegations there were, just as it is now. Not only that, every time the jury retired to consider its verdict, judges would remind them that however convincing the evidence seemed, it was well known that women frequently lied about rape.
I'm not making that up, this is what happened. Judges warned juries that women frequently lied about rape.
Why do you think they did that? Because there was research which showed how mad women were, how unbalanced, morally deficient and malicious they were? No, there was no research, there was simply kneejerk misogyny, which is where the idea of the prevalence of false allegations comes from.
Here's a thing: Most accused rapists walk free from a police interview. Most don't even get taken to court, let alone convicted. The vast majority of men accused of rape, are guilty. When a man walks free having been accused of rape, because of the statistics, there will always be a bit of a doubt as to whether he's innocent, because we all know that he's most likely to be guilty but have got away with it.
I would have thought that those of you so concerned with innocent men wrongly accused, would have had more interest in seeing how we can raise the conviction rate of those who are actually guilty. That would surely be the best immunisation against the lingering cloud of suspicion following a false or mistaken allegation. Anonymity for accused rapists wouldn't do that, it would ensure that even more rapists walk free.
John Worboys is in prison because he didn't have anonymity. If he had had, he'd still be driving round London raping women. But who cares, what does that matter, compared with the tiny risk of a man being falsely accused eh?
"I really wish you could spend an hour with my husband ..he is a broken man...broken by a women who accused him of historic abuse and rape"
I really wish you could spend an hour in the company of the thousands of women who have been raped and have had their lives utterly broken by it for years and years, sometimes forever. There are many, many more of them, than men who have been falsely accused. But they just don't matter as much, do they? It's OK to have them as collateral damage because their lives just don't matter as much as those of men.
"Until you have had a loved one wrongly accused, I don't think you have a clue what you are talking about."
I could say "Until you have been raped or had a loved one be raped and engage in the self-destructive behaviour and fall-out which can last decades and is caused not so much by the rape itself, but by societal attitudes surrounding rape, I don't think you have a clue what you are talking about."
But really, what would be the point?
The thousands of women who have been raped and had their lives utterly broken does not imo mean that an annocent man should have his life utterly broken.
FFS its not tit for tat get any bloody man at any cost. Or is that what the supporters want.
Yes I have both.
How the hell does it help a rape victim by punishing an innocent man?
Accusing an innocent man of rape is not punishing him, anymore than accusing an innocent man of murder, robbery, burglary or any other crime.
People generally believe men are innocent of rape.
Even when they are found guilty of rape, FGS.
Ched Evans anyone?
Most people believe rapists are innocent, unless they are one of the minority of rapists who don't know the victim beforehand and use other violence or threats to facilitate the rape.
Of those who are believed to be guilty and subjected to male violence as a result of suspicion, the main reason those men subject him to that violence, is because they know full well that if he is guilty, he'll probably walk free anyway.
How would anonymity solve those problems?
'I really wish you could spend an hour in the company of the thousands of women who have been raped and have had their lives utterly broken by it for years and years, sometimes forever. There are many, many more of them, than men who have been falsely accused. But they just don't matter as much, do they? It's OK to have them as collateral damage because their lives just don't matter as much as those of men.'
Isn't it better to say that both situations are dreadful?
People don't generally believe men are innocent of rape ime.
Of course it is punishing him, have you never seen what it does to a person, to families ( and I don't mean because they don't believe him ). Do you know what it does to his children, how his work is affected. He may be temporarily suspended from his work, especially if with children. His work colleagues may be questioned, his wife will have to answer all manner of personal questions.
They may be targeted by vigilantes, they may have to move.
So having been on the receiving end of rape and a dh accused of rape. DFO you know nothing.
"Isn't it better to say that both situations are dreadful?"
Why is it better to say that?
It's not wrong to say that.
But it's not better.
It presents some sort of false equivalence doesn't it - ignoring the fact that one is far more common than the other.
My dh didn't know the person and it was a call to crime stoppers. Unfortunately, witness statements described my dh to a tea, car, looks everything. He was even in the place at the time. Although the person couldn't have known this because it was a one off visit.
It nearly killed my dh and I don't exagerate, he was named, shamed, police night and day. We had 2 small dc and I was frightened to death of what might happen. Dh lost 3 stone in no time at all.
They caught the man in the end, I heard on the news. No apology, no police call to tell us. Nothing.
"People don't generally believe men are innocent of rape ime." Sorry, but "IYO" isn't representative. Most people believe men who rape, unless it's strangers in dark alleys, are innocent. If your experience is different, then that's your experience, but it's not borne out by surveys which show that most people believe women are lying about rape.
"Of course it is punishing him, have you never seen what it does to a person, to families ( and I don't mean because they don't believe him ). Do you know what it does to his children, how his work is affected. He may be temporarily suspended from his work, especially if with children. His work colleagues may be questioned, his wife will have to answer all manner of personal questions.
They may be targeted by vigilantes, they may have to move."
All those things may also happen to men accused of other crimes. Rape is not a special case. The only reason people think it is a special case, is because of the misogynist hangover.
morethanpotatoprints, that says more about how bloody awful police procedures are and local media reporting is, than being a good argument for anonymity for rape alone.
The police should have informed your husband and the local press.
The fact that they didn't shows how much in its infancy victim, witness and suspect support is.
It's not an argument for anonymity for rape defendants and no other defendants.
'Why is it better to say that?'
Because it's true. Both situations are horrendous.
We will have to beg to differ on this. I don't care what others think in surveys I care what they say to my face and if we want to continue with a justice system that considers innocent until proven guilty, we can't name and shame people who are innocent/accused
And yes I can see why your experience isn't typical, because your DH was accused of being a stranger rapist - less than 8% of all rape cases. Disastrous, I know, but no more disastrous in general, than being accused of other crimes.
And you have to balance the disaster of your DH's situation, against the disaster of thousands of women who are raped who have very little chance of justice and who would have even less chance of justice if anonymity for rapists were introduced.
No justice system is ever perfect and there will always be people who will be terribly damaged by it.
Those who believe in anonymity for defendants, believe that it is always preferable that women be damaged, than that men be.
'surveys which show that most people believe women are lying about rape.'
Which surveys? I've never seen a survey that's said that. This is the first time I've heard this. I would imagine that most people are aware that a percentage of women lie about it, as evidenced in the media, but that most women don't.
I have never heard a blanket statement like this before.
In that case more, are you in favour of ALL defendants of all crimes being anonymous until found guilty?
Because that is consistent and logical and though I don't agree with it, I can see the logic of it.
So it's a yes to anonimity for people accused of all crimes, morethanpotatoprints?
Personally I can't support singling rape out and cannot understand why anyone would want to do that. Unless they genuinely believed that women commonly lie about rape. And surely no-one believes that.
Incidentally I know 2 men who have raped people, not involving the police, but it has been common knowledge. And the general reaction has been that nothing has changed for them at all, even with this knowledge in circulation.
I also know of one girl who was raped and everyone, from people my age to people of my parents generation, immediately stated that she had made it up (for no reason whatsoever). When I asked people why they thought that, they looked a bit taken aback and mentioned things like "attention seeking" and being guilty about having sex with someone they'd only just met. Hmm.
I think the we believe you message is very very important. because actually, people don't.
^'Why is it better to say that?'
Because it's true. Both situations are horrendous.^
But it glosses over the fact that one is an anthill and one is Mount Everest, doesn't it?
And that's why you like it SF
'And that's why you like it SF'
You've lost me?
I imagine she means that people make a false equivalence when actually there is not equivalence.
In all of these things there needs to be balance, and that is what the law is currently set up to give.
It allows anonimity to people who are vulnerable and takes into account the reticence of victims of certain crimes to come forward and wants to improve reporting rates.
Separately, people who are accused of crimes are not protected with anonimity in the UK. This helps with getting witnesses, further victims coming forward and so on.
It is not a "tit for tat" - the thinking behind these things is different.
There is also lack of equivalence in this argument for numbers. There is always an offset - and a balance must be struck. At the moment the authorities believe that the abbility of other victims / witnesses to come forward and thus getting more convictions is worth more than granting anonimity to people accused of crimes and losing all those convictions.
There is also the principle of open justice in the UK.
Yes I find it quite extraordinary that people would be so willing to give up the principle of open justice.
The thing about not having anonymity for accused people, is so that justice can be seen to be done.
Witnesses who read that XYZ is standing trial for murder/ rape/ robbery etc., can ring the police and either offer information which might help get the guilty defendant banged up, or offer information which might help ensure an acquittal or dropped prosecution of a victim of mistaken identity or malicious accusation.
If everyone was anonymous, that principle would be lost.
You could argue that if police are doing their job properly that won't be needed (because they interview everyone who ever stepped within 2 feet of the defendant) but I'm not sure I'd be happy to rely on the police to find every single person who might be able to add something to a criminal enquiry. Granted, potential witnesses overlooked by police enquiry might not come across reports of a person standing for trial, but they definitely wouldn't if they were anonymous, would they?
Ooh, look what someone posted on my FB page:
There seem to be a lot of strongly held assertive opinions about rape when the one thing we know is that we dont know much !
Most sex occurs in private so it is often impossible to prove/disprove rape other than go on the word of the two individuals involved. Thus it is an easy crime to make a false allegation. Also, a lot of sex occurs in a drunken haze and consenting sex often involves ambiguous games eg one partner says no means yes.
So an extraordinarily difficult crime for a jury to decide who is telling the truth/whether a crime has occurred.
So two possible approaches...
1) assume that most people bringing rape allegations are telling the truth and convict the defendant willy nilly. And therefore successfully convict all rapists but also convict a few innocents.
2) assume the defendant is innocent until proven otherwise and only convict when the evidence is really strong enough. And therefore only convict a small percentage of rapists but never falsely convict non-rapists.
I think it is very difficult, but my personal view is (2) is best.
PS I think discussions about rape should be gender neutral in their wording as above (regardless of any legal definition of rape)
Sorry apple but practically everything you've just posted is pure, undiluted rape-myth.
Men don't turn into rapists because they are a bit drunk or because a woman is a bit drunk and it is incredibly insulting and man-hating of you to say that.
Women who have bad or unintentional sex because they're a bit drunk, wake up, realise they've fucked up, go home and have a bacon sandwich.
They don't go down to the police and make a rape allegation, because they're not all mad, unstable, malicious and generally appalling people.
You have just regurgitated all the misogynist stereotypes of women (and men all being rapists and just needing a bit of booze to release their inner rapist) all in one go.
ps just realized i didnt address the OP about anonymity !
I think good argument for this in personal/difficult to prove crimes like rape, but clearly has to be symmetrical ie anonymity for both for accused and accuser.
Also the idea that it's "easy" to just make up a rape allegation.
Well yes, in theory it is, but what on earth is the point of making up an allegation that no one believes when it's true, let alone when it's false?
I could make up an allegation that Nick Clegg shagged my dog, but given that I've not got a dog, who will take it seriously?
This constant, hammering home of rape myths like anyone can be arrested at any time - the poster here whose husband was arrested, wasn't falsely accused, he was the victim of mistaken identity. Women can't just go down the cop shop and claim they were raped and a police investigation swings into action - even where women really are raped, the police tell them to bugger off and stop wasting their time, as in the case of the first few victims of John Worboys.
apple I think it's best to approach your post point by point.
- It is not correct that there is no evidence in rape cases and that it is one person's word against another. At each stage decisions are made about going forward with a report / prosecution for rape. First the victim has a good idea of what is "rape rape" and what is not. Victims self-select - rapes which involve people in a relationship with no physical evidence are far less likely to be reported to police than a violent stranger rape. So the cases that get to the police have already whittled out most of the "his word against hers" cases
- Next come the police. Depends on where you go. Some forces you are far more likely to have your report of rape marked as a "no crime" than other forces. Some forces / individual officers do not treat victims well, say they think they are lying, don't take physical evidence or witness statements etc. So another tranche of accusations gets no further than this stage
- Next the CPS need to decide whether they want to prosecute. In order to prosecute they have to believe they will have a reasonable chance of getting a prosecution. Thus they only take forward rape cases which they believe (due to physical or other evidence) they have a pretty good chance of winning (and the stats bear out that when cases do go to court, they do indeed get a conviction rate in line with other crimes
The vast majority of rape cases that go to court thus have supporting evidence.
The point you made "Also, a lot of sex occurs in a drunken haze and consenting sex often involves ambiguous games eg one partner says no means yes. " I don't even know what to do with this It seems to be saying that many rape accusations are due to people having drunken sex and then playing rather odd sex games leading to ambiguity and it's all grey areas and then women deciding to lie about it for no obvious reason. Alternatively. Lots of people simply get raped, is probably a less convoluted way of looking at it.
Your two possible approaches.
1. The police should believe people who come forward and say they have been a victim of crime. Unless they have an extremely good reason not to. Yes EVEN victims of rape.
No-one in the world thinks that all men accused of rape should be imprisoned immediately with no due process. Not sure where that came from.
2. Is the system we have in place at the moment. I don't hear for any calls to change it to a system like you mention in 1.
You've missed my main point....
Rape is very difficult to prove/disprove (perhaps almost unique in crime ?)
Therefore we have choice (as society) of
1) lowering the level of evidence required to increase conviction rate or
2) maintain the level of evidence required to prevent mis-conviction
In UK, we do (2). Therefore there will be a low conviction rate and a lot of rapists go free. Unfortunately. That is a sad inevitable fact but I can't see any better way to do it.
Can you ?
"I think good argument for this in personal/difficult to prove crimes like rape, but clearly has to be symmetrical ie anonymity for both for accused and accuser."
Ah yes, false symmetry again.
Like the number of falsely accused men = the number of women alleging rape who are falsely accusing.
Clearly someone who has decided to completely ignore all the arguments that have taken place on this thread.
apple - here's the MN 'We Believe You' page on rape myths
it's not that difficult to prove, which is why of the cases that do get to court the conviction rate compares favourably to other violent crimes
however only a few of all cases are reported, and only a very few of those will go on to be prosecuted
Yes, the better way to do it is
Increase society understanding of what rape is
Work towards making rape utterly unacceptable in all circs (rather than just violent stranger, child victim, elderly victim etc as we have at the moment)
Train police forces to do their jobs wrt rape
Train the CPS to do their job wrt rape
Talk to juries about rape myths
Disallow talk of women's sexual history etc
All of these things are talked about in reports by schools, police forces, government reports, rape charities, and so on and so on.
Unfortunately attitudes are extremely ingrained, with society opinions shaped by the media in its various forms, and centuries of mysoginist thinking.
Still, that's the way forward.
Personally I think a non adversarial court system would be a step forward for all sorts of crimes against the person.
And sentencing reflecting risk of harm to the public rather than people getting out after a fixed time.
There is quite a lot to think about rather than your idea as to what the only 2 options are.
Trekkie - thanks for you post, makes huge sense and points out a lot of complexity i have ignored.
Re the drunken haze...
my point was not that alcohol leads to false allegations etc but that it makes it harder for a jury to get accurate picture of events so harder to successfully convict.
The We Believe You pages on MN that pubes had linked to have a lot of information about common misconceptions so I would second her suggestion that you have a look at those if you are interested.
Not really apple.
It's only harder to convict, if you believe that a woman's drunken hazy memory is less reliable than the drunken hazy memory of a man.
And if you believe that she has a stronger motive for lying about rape, than he has.
Thankyou, I have looked, but they seem like rather extreme misconceptions that very few reasonable people would believe (at least one would hope not !)
So mumsnet are a bunch of militant feminists who just make things up about rape, do they?
Am sure Justine et al will be proud to hear that.
Or are you talking about the rape myths they are de-constructing?
Because extreme though it may seem, lots of people do believe rape myths.
Even educated, progressive people who in all other politics are right on, organic, concerned, lentil-weaving etc. - when it comes to rape, the first things they talk about is false accusations.
That's how ingrained rape myths are.
It's not wrong for MN to confront it head on and disabuse people.
I have had three partners, including my current one. All three are well acquainted with alcohol, as am I. In each relationship, at several points, one or both I us have been stinking drunk. Never have these men raped me, because tey are not rapists. Yes, they may have wanted sex with me when I was drunk, but they didn't have it because it would have been rape and they aren't rapists. Yes, they may have wanted to have sex with me when they were drunk, but free they were told no, they did not force me as they are not rapists.
If they had had sex with me, they would have been rapists. It would just be my word against theirs.
Many crimes are one persons word against another - would you suggest we discredited them too?
I believe that the drunken hazy memory of a woman and a man are equivalent - surely we all believe that ?!
But jurys only convict if the evidence is clear and alcohol clearly reduces that clarity (regardless of whether there is culpability).
Therefore, yes, I think alcoholic haze does reduce chances of successful conviction... I hope not a controversial point ?
I realise that my post is a bit incoherent but I was just a bit shocked at apples post and her two options!
apple as per my post earlier, it is highly unlikely that a case where there was no evidence other than the verbal evidence of two people who were both drunk, would ever get near a court.
I think that considering all the so called "grey areas" (like his word vs her word when they were both drunk) will be useful when we are at a point where all the not "grey area" cases are being competently and vigorously prosecuted.
Fastidia, being accused of rape can lead to very serious consequences, death by vigilantism is far worse than rape for example, so is being beaten to the point of brain damage or permanent disability, even if you escape that, many men can lose their families (ss can take the children if his wife refuses to leave him) which again is worse than rape, rape is a horribly violent, humiliating, degrading, invasive crime but that does not justify injustice toward those falsely accused and permanently tarred as rapists, nor does it mean their pain or the pain of their families is undeserving of sympathy. Even if their only 'punishment' is lifelong unemployment and being a social pariah, well that's their life ruined, it's horrible to pretend that it's no big deal.
Harsh prison sentences for convicts and cultural indoctrination in the schools to civilised behaviour for boys would be a genuine deterrent. Reserve the condemnation for those proven guilty.
I am really interested in your comments..
May i ask, is your view that the low rape conviction is primarily due to low rate of victims reporting (because the penal system is so unpleasant) or due to the police/etc doing not handling the process well, rather than my original contention that it is just a very difficult crime per se to prove/disprove because of the lack of witnesses/physical evidence ?
I don't mean by my post that you are condemning them by the way, just that putting their identities in the media opens them to condemnation, hate and attacks from others.
There are various reports that have been commissioned by the government which look into all of this so my opinion is informed by those. There was one called the stern report (IIRC) which looked into it all very thoroughly. Also relevant are things like the inquiries into the Warboys and Reid cases, the recent conviction of a met police officer in sapphire shocking and other things that come to light. Brian Paddick's evidence in the Leveson Enquiry about the met vastly altering and then burying a report about their poor handling of rape cases was also interesting.
There is lots of info out there much of it from official sources which can help inform about all of this, google is your friend
holy crap some posts are contradiction junction
rape is one of the worst crimes there is/it is hard to know when a rape has occurred
rape comes down to grey area he said she said/the police will take a statement of rape from someone and this statement alone is enough to arrest a suspect
these things cannot be simultaneously true, they contradict themselves and the other assertions
So yes the first step is to make victims feel confident to come forward, and for police to actually investigate and investigate properly, and not lose the evidence or turn the victim away.
I also think it would be useful if they matched up accusations - many rapists are repeat offenders but lack of evidence means that any reports that do happen go nowhere. If they were linked up then police would have a list of people to keep an eye on, or would be able to combine the different testimonies. IMO if a bunch of totally unrelated people all separately accuse the same person of rape then that person is worth taking a look at. It was that lack of a joined up approach that left Ian Huntley a free man despite a string of separate reports about him for rape and sexual assault of young women and girls. I don't think that "there's no smoke without fire" but by the time you've got 6 reports from totally unrelated victims about the same person and the same crime surely it's worth a look.
thezebrawearspurple all of what you've said can apply to any other crime a man is accused of.
It's only with rape, tht the calls for anonymity are deafening.
Also, rape can lead to mental health problems, depression, self-destructive behaviour, suicide.
I think suicide is no less serious than being beaten to death by a vigilante mob, no?
If I didn't know that we lived in a male supremacist society, where men's lives are valued so much higher than those of women, I'd be astonished by the unequal focus given to the tiny number of men falsely or mistakenly accused of rape, versus the vast number of women who actually experience rape and are seriously harmed by it, sometimes in ways they remain unaware of for years, decades or even the whole of their lives.
it is not astonishing though,just really depressing. pretty clear where society's priorities lie
Appreciate your knowledgable and balanced views,...can I ask, what is your view on anonymity for the accused (apologies if you have made this clear in previous posts, I have slow internet so only skimmed !)
My view is that it is reasonable, given the social stigma etc of false accusation and the symmetrical argument about accuser anonymity (with the exception of where lack of public awareness might lead to further victims).
yeah yeah Apple, we all know you're in favour of inserting symmetrical arguments where no symmetry exists
how do you decide that anonymity might lead to further victims?
'If I didn't know that we lived in a male supremacist society, where men's lives are valued so much higher than those of women'
pretty strong stuff !
what do you base this on ?
apple I base this on public discourse and statistics.
Which I can't be bothered to go into just now as this is a thread on anonymity for defendants accused of rape and it would take us off into massive tangents.
Feel free to start a separate thread on it.
Just wondering if anybody know if people have been asked if they don't report rape because of they believe they will not be believed or they think not enough evidence or they can't face talking to people about it, let alone going to court.
My assault was by my ex husband and I only reported it to the police because when I fled the house for help half naked as he looked for a kitchen knife he dropped, my kids were still in the house up stairs.
I would never have chosen to tell anyone. Only two members of my family know some of the details. I ban everyone I know from court. Went on my own.
My question is has there been real valid research into why women don't report?
I think there is an argument for anonimity for people accused of a tranche of serious crimes - sexual assault, rape, murder, people trafficking - all of the serious crimes against people rather than property I guess.
I have heard more people argue that anonimity should be in place for people accused up until they are charged, than all the way to conviction.
I am not sure what I think - I can see the argument for anonimity for people accused of certain crimes but I worry about missing out on other witnesses/victims because of it.
I would absolutely disagree with any move to change the rules for people accused of rape but not of other crimes, and could be persuaded to go on a march about it if someone agreed to look after the children.
Yes apple, do start a different thread on it, maybe in Chat, it would be interesting to see what others (not only feminists) think. I see no evidence that we live in a male supremacist society btw, and I most definitely do not see that men's lives are more valued.
Great question !
The zebra, do social services really take the children of men who are charged with rape (presumably of someone outside the family unit)
before the case goes to court? Can you post links to any such cases?
Trekkie's post of 20:21 was spot on.
Also, can folks please remember that it isn't accuser vs accused, it is the CPS who chooses to bring the case and the victim is a witness, along with other witnesses eg the policewoman who took her statement and the doctor who examined her.
I had my bag stolen. I made a ppolice report. If the person had been caught, my statement might have been read out in court to establish that i was in the bar at the same time as the thief, or I might have had to testify if i or the police felt I could identify the thief. But I wouldn't have been the accuser - the police would have gathered sufficient evidence to arrest, charge and then prosecute the case.
None so blind as those that will not see...
Wonderwoman there's loads of research on this.
Rape Crisis is a good place to start but if you don't find what you're looking for, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Someone is accusing someone else if pointing finger and accusation at them.
So most crimes where one person is naming another there is an accuser and the accused.
A person reports someone for punching them in the face. There are no witnesses, that person is accusing??
yes, it's the Crown against the accused
wonderwoman that sounds harrowing, why did you ban your friends/family from court? To protect them? Hope you had someone on your side, even victim support.
Will check out Rape Crisis info thinks. So far everyone talking about it but only seen small case research. Off to have a read. Thanks
Thankyou for correction. Sorry for ignorance, but is there not a different legal name/term given to the alleged rape victim and the policewomen ie are they really all termed witnesses ?
Not legally wonderwoman.
A rape victim is not a rape victim, s/he is Crown Prosecution Services Chief Witness.
Hence the outrage of some like Frances Audrade being told that she was not allowed to seek counselling in case it affected her testimony. Her only importance was as a witness, her welfare was irrelevant.
Why would I ever what anyone to know what happened to me.
I went ahead with taking it to court because I feared that he would meet some other young girl and do the same to them. I meet him at 18 and had a 5 year marriage. The assault I reported was not the worse he did to me but I could not face saying out loud the rest. Don't think I ever will.
The police were great to me looked after me really well, but like many over survivors talking about it was what would have stopped me reporting it.
They told her she could not have therapy! Well good thing she did have a broken leg (no to hospital treatment). We live in a mad world.
Sorry, just thought it was a difficult thing to go through alone but I can see what you mean.
Sorry you had a horrible experience WW. You were brave to go to court
apple1234 re: male supremacist society - more than 2 women every weekare killed by current or ex-partners - that's more than soldiers in Afghanistan. This govt is cutting refuges and social housing for women to move to. Women's Aid say that paying Universal Credit to one family member, usually the man, will lead to financial & emotional abuse and domestic violence
The other argument against anonymity for the accused of rape would be that it sets rape apart from other violent crimes. But why on earth should it be seen as a special case of violence??? Wait, I know the answer: it's a violent crime against mainly women, that's not "real" violence in our patriarchy. There seems to be violence against men on the one hand, and violence against women which we have called domestic violence or intimate partner violence or sexual violence.
Someone will come up and point out very usefully that domestic violence etc can happen to men as well. True. My point is that is because it mainly affects women, it has a different status, which is most likely not to the victim's advantage. Giving people accused of rape (mainly men) a special status (anonymity) strengthens this weird notion that sexual violence is a special case of violence even in the legal system.
It's late, sorry if this isn't terribly coherent, but I'm sure some of you will get my point.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I can't help thinking that we should protect the victim and until conviction we don't know if that is the accussed or not.
Protect victims of rape = good plan.
What does that have to do with people accused of rape? That almost reads as if, when a person complains of rape to the police, if it gets to the stage where someone is arrested and prosecuted, the victim in proceedings is the arrested party. So for a different crime. Eg a child is rescued from forced work, the victim in the scenario is the person prosecuted for enslaving the child. Is that what you meant? Clarification would be good.
You cannot decide everyone that is accussed of rape is guilty because they are a man. You cannot decide that every woman who says she has been raped is telling the truth because she is a woman. you must look at the evidence.
All I Am saying is that it is becoming the norm to presume guilt in rape cases and that is wrong.
Well, what you wrote was that in rape cases, the person accused of rape is the victim, and they should be protected until conviction.
It is an unusual stance.
You are aware that men rape other men and children as well as women, are you?
Maybe you need to expand on your post to include that fact.
So from your posts I understand you to mean:
When a man is accused of raping a man, woman or child,
He is a victim,
And should be protected until he is convicted.
Like I say, an unusual approach, but I'd be interested in hearing your reasonsing behind all of it. Also what you want to do for the men women and children who report rape. Are they victims too? Should they be protected? You haven't mentioned your views on what should happen to them.
sydlexic Many people are presumed to be guilty of crimes by the community without even an accusation. Ask any minority.
Why is being wrongly accused of rape more devastating then being wrongly imprisoned for a non-rape crime?
No, when a man is "falsely accussed of rape" he is the victim. When he is rightfully accussed the person raped is the victim.
At the point of accusation we do not know which statement is true and should not decide without further evidence.
I don't agree that to be accused of a violent crime against the person is as bad as being a victim of it.
The norm for rape victims is to not get any justice at all - only 6% will see their assailant convicted - either because they don't feel they can report it, or because the CPS won't go to trial because of 'lack of evidence.' Often the evidence needed to prosecute serial sex offenders is gained by further victims coming forward having seen their attacker reported in the media.
Syd, do you also believe in anonymity for the accused when one man is prosecuted for allegedly beating up another in a pub?
From what I have been reading a lot of people seem to think that when the cps says 'lack of evidence' this means guilty but can't prove it. This is not always the case sometimes it is just 'no evidence'. Does that not sometimes mean the accused is just not guilty.
Also judges on historical cases often though out of court cases due to no evidence. We life in a country where there is no time limit on charging but the goverment and police destroy there own archive records other a certain date.
On other sites they have used human rights and said it is sexist that the women in rape are not named but men are. As only men can rape (under law rape is done with a penis??) it has been said that naming is sexist. Do think people forget men/boys can be raped too.
A no naming of anyone for any crime until conviction maybe better. The cps could have a point score form to decide if it was in the public interest to name before then.
In an ideal world then I would agree with anonymity for anyone accussed of anything, until proven. I don't think it is possible to achieve.
WW I think the sex discrimination argument is the other way round - as it's men who are charged with rape, if rape defendants had anonymity when other defendants didn't, that would be a group of males getting different treatment.
Syd, why impractical for crimes in general but you would want an exception for those being prosecuted for rape?
It is not sexist to not name the (female) victim and name the (male) rapist. You are assuming that same treatment means equal treatment. As it stands, the victim and the rapist however are not on an equal footing, and fair treatment of the victim (like giving her anonymity) is an attempt to achieve that equality, or remove some of the inequality, rather than creating an inequality that didn't exist before.
I have been in both situations here...I was abused by my uncle as a child...I was raped when I was 14 years old and My hubby was falsely accused.
I know the horror of rape and I know the horror of watching an innocent man being accused of rape. THEY ARE BOTH AS BAD AS THE OTHER !
Where do you get the idea that women reporting rape ect are not believed ??
Come there are dedicated police units round the country, its not something which is swept under the carpet. Why are all the men being arrested in operation yewtree ...because women ARE believed.
I am a women born a long time ago....Women of today need to learn this world is a hard place, see both sides of rape, whether its real or false people get hurt.
"Where do you get the idea that women reporting rape ect are not believed ??"
Jesus, it must be great on your planet.
Patriarchy doesn't exist there does it?
85-90% of women who don't report, largely because they know they won't be believed, just doesn't exist. Along with the 80%+ of cases which are reported which never make it to court because the CPS knows the rape victims won't be believed.
It's just a figment of our imagination.
Also, it is not as bad being falsely accused of rape as it is to be raped.
It may be for some men as some women recover quicker from rape if they get more support and some men suffer more badly than others if they don't get support.
But to say in that blanket way that it's just as bad, shows that you consider men's lives more valuable than that of women.
Let's have a study of the men falsely or mistakenly accused of rape 30 years down the line shall we? How many of them are still having flashbacks, how many of them have had their sex lives or intimate relationships severely affected, how many of them developed eating disorders, self-harming, other mental health problems or have had nervous breakdowns every few years?
maisere, dedicated rape units like Operation Sapphire perhaps? Sometimes even those officers who are tasked with investigating rape are often prejudiced or incompetent, sadly. Sapphire isn't alone. Have a look at Scotland. Look at the Worboys case, where a serial rapist was left free to carry on raping women for years because the police dismissed complaints and failed to investigate properly.
A victim of any crime is a witness. The court case is Regina v. the defendant - the victim does not have equal status with the accused, so the argument for anonymity is bizarre. Being wrongly accused of murder must be even more damaging than being wrongly accused of rape, but no-one argues for anonymity for alleged murderers, do they?
Also no-one seems to argue for anonymity for those accused of child-rape.
Surely that's far more damaging to be wrongly accused of?
You know what would be good? If people read something on the subject before forming an opinion. You know - research, facts n shit. Actual information. I feel it would help.
A good BBC article on the topic.
Your BBC link talks about 3-9% false accusation rate,
Zippy LJ, which comes from Home Office statistics.
3-9%. Similar false accusation rate for all crimes. Do you believe in anonymity for all defendants?
But LJ - do you just ignore the 91-97% of women who weren't lying? Aren't they important?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Rape has a legal definition. This is the UK's definition.
Are you in the US? The discussion thread on which you have posted relates to UK law re anonymity.
I would happily join a campaign against vigilante attacks on those accused of any crime.
*"An unmarried 16-year-old female had sex with her boyfriend and later became
concerned that she might be pregnant. She said she had been raped by an unknown
assailant in the hopes that the hospital would give her something to abort the
possible pregnancy. "*
I'm presuming that this is an American example? If so, it says a lot more about American restrictions of abortion than it does false rape accusations. In the UK she could have accessed the healthcare she needed without having to lie.
That's what you meant. That's not what I said.
If vigilante attacks don't happen then surely that's the outcome you want. Presumably you'd prefer people accused of murder or fraud or whatever not to be subject to vigilante attacks?
True Opt. And frankly if she said it was an unnamed assailant to a hospital, I'm pretty sure that no man ended up falsely accused in a police report.
Innocent until proven guilty is a legal status that means that the Crown must prove the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. It has nothing to do with a poster on MN thinking an accused is guilty.
@CoalDustWoman, in the UK anyone accused of rape has NO right to anonymity and has his name and face plastered all over the media before the case even goes to court. That's the problem.
Exactly the same as for other crimes, LJ.
People found guilty if false accusation of rape can be imprisoned, as can those found guilty of false accusation of any crime.
Oh and it seems too obvious to say but perhaps not - many rape victims commit suicide, cannot work at their jobs etc.
Anyone accused of any crime is in the same position. It's all in the thread, if you've read it.
It's not the same as other crimes. If a man is wrongly accused of shoplifting for example it's very unlikely he will be murdered or end up committing suicide after his face is all over the newspapers.
@CoalDustWoman You might find this interesting. Try and look at things from both perspectives:
As if all accused rapists have their faces plastered all over the papers FFS!!
That so many people DON'T BELIEVE accused rapists rape but that the women is partly at fault undermines all this crying oooh the worst thing ever a man can be accused of is rape.
**Or if they do that the woman is partly..
I'm sure it's horrible to be in that situation. On balance, though, I'd rather improve the chances of catching serial rapists. Which most rapists are. I find it odd to take any other stance, tbh.
Not really. Victims are not believed for far more reasons than the existence of a minute number of truly false reports (rather than mistaken identity or no accused identified)
Nice to see MNHQ deleting the goady and dreadful posts.
Other forums are available, using the FWR section of MN to post such utter rubbish can only be interpreted as fuckwittery. <sigh>
All this is solved if men just stopped raping how about it. In other words the little * should keep their little ** zipped.
<sits on hands, awaits MN deleting the goady and derailing rubbish>
joinlogin please read this which should help you understand why no-one here is interested in your opinions and why we will challenge them for the goady MRA nonsense they are.
Other forums may suit you better.
All those rapists who falsely claim to be falsely accused and walk scott free such as Kirk Reid who assaulted 70+ other women before being caught, Jon Worboys drove a black cab ideal front of a serial rapist, Ian Huntley. There is no consequence for them for lying about being a rapist. They get jailed for the rape not the perjury. (In the case of Huntley he was never once tried for rape or sex with under age girls despite many allegations) I suppose he was falsely accused too.
Ah, I see the "give em enough rope and they will hang themselves" theory has worked beautifully!
MNHQ as joinlogin is posting such rubbish which runs contrary to the stated aims of We Believe You, please can you encourage him in some clever technical way to not darken our doors again?
MN can have whatever guidelines it likes - one of them is that we don't tolerate rape myths. If you don't like it go somewhere where misogyny is tolerated.
How you you know they're innocent acquittal is "not proven" it's not he didn't do it.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We Believe You
I believe you
No, because it isn't true. It appears on the MN rape myth page here: www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/we-believe-you-campaign-rape-myths-busted with citations.
MYTH: Women often lie about rape, and police officers and jurors should bear this in mind
REALITY: There is no research evidence that false allegations are more common than for many other crimes.
Home Office research indicates that between 3-8% of initial allegations are false, but that the lower figure is likely to be most accurate.(6)
Far from being widespread, malicious accusations are rare. A much greater problem in the criminal justice system is the under-reporting of rape - the government estimates that 89% of rapes are never reported to the police at all.(7)
In addition, only 5.3% of rapes reported to the police end in a conviction for rape - the lowest rate of any country in Europe, except for Ireland.(8)
Doen't fix it the rapists still out there raping the little p s need to put their little P s away.
Got it JoinLogin
The real concern is that people like JoinLogin can sit on juries.
And it is not biased to support women when not being believed is one of the primary factors for not reporting a rape. Statistically, if a woman says she was raped she is telling the truth. Men lie too you know, it's not as if they get nothing out of denying being a rapist is it
Join, sadly for you there has been quite a lot of research done on prejudices about rape. The concept of 'rape myths' is established and defined based on a considerable amount of evidence. You don't get to turn up out of the blue and say, 'ooh, I've never heard of it so it must be rubbish' - you'll have to work a lot harder than that.
You might also want to take a look at the Talk guidelines. They make it clear that sexist posts can be deleted, just as racist, disablist and homophobic posts can be deleted. So do be careful out there.
Educate yourself on how RARE false accusations are.
Once again, it's MN's site. They can have whatever rules they like. If you don't like their ethos and guidelines, feel free to go elsewhere where
vile views like yours are more welcome.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I see you have reversed your username. Were you banned?
One only has to watch the behaviour of men at football matches those on the pitch and those watching it to see this a gender out of control, feral. Note how the blame always rests with someone else the other side's supporters, the police, the weather, how long they had to queue to get in to the ground, they're team lost, they're team won blah de blah. Do they morph back into civilised human beings after this. Nope they're out they're raping women, children and other men and guess what it's never they're fault. Feral. The rapists and their apologists have attempted to create a smokescreen about rape the myth of the false accusation. In reality it is the rapist falsely claiming to be falsely accused.
Incidentally, men are raped too. What's your view on that JL/LJ?
It's quite heartening to see how the I Believe You campaign really upsets the goady fuckers.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
joinlogin if you feel that the campaign page is "meaningless and useless" and if nobody is agreeing with you then why, exactly, are you still here?
I'm off out now to see friends and family. Because I'm on good terms with them and we mutually enjoy each others company....Is there perhaps a reason why you have a lot of time to spend on your own on this site?
I would hate to work with someone who didn't understand a concept, despite having it explained to them several times. Just sayin'.
The legal system research states high levels of false accusations are a myth.
Women who have legally been found to have been victims of rape through a court of law are still disbelieved by prejudice and ignorance spread by people who have a vested interest in insuring rapists walk free.
Why would rapists want their victims to be believed? Rape propaganda exists to give rapists the chance to rape and ensure they get away with it.
We believe you
I believe her
Have you come onto this website to try and persuade us that you are right? If so, why not answer the questions that have been asked of you?
Why don't you care about innocent rape victims (men and women) who lose their jobs or commit suicide? And if you care about those accused of rape who are murdered, how do you feel about the two women each week murdered by their partners?
Yes it is really "heartening" that innocent men commit suicide or are murdered or lose their jobs isn't it?
Shit! I temporarily forgot it was all about THE MEN!!! Dammit!
Why aren't you so wound up about the fact two men a WEEK go ahead and MURDER women they are or were in relationships with. Why doesn't that bother you?!?!
You're a woman hater aren't you?
Have you ever thought for a second why so many MRA's are considered (rightly) to be really vicious woman-haters?
Oh I can't be bothered to poke this one with a stick, am off for a shower.
OK one more thing before I grab the shower gel: most men who object to the "we believe you" campaign do so on the whole, because they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of society believing rapists not rape victims, even though women who allege rape are only about 3-5% ish likely to be lying while men accused of rape and denying it, are well over 90% likely to be lying.
Sorry for delay.
We're on the case now with the big red button.
has it occurred to the average MRA to wonder just who is attacking and being violent to men accused of rape?
it isn't women.
i am sure there is a broader message about gendered violence here if one cares to look for it
Chibi - that's an excellent point actually.
Also has it occurred to MRA's that one of the reasons men attack other men, is when they believe that they won't get justice any other way.
Vigilantism is normal in a society where the rule of law has broken down.
Where rape is concerned, there is no rule of law. Men know that women don't get justice for rape.
So when they are violently inclined and the women they happen to care about get raped (and they believe her) they are more likely to exert their male violence on the men they believe are the perpetrators. If they knew there was a reasonable chance of the rapist being charged and found guilty, just as with any other crime, they wouldn't be so inclined to go in for vigilantism. There isn't a spate of men attacking men they think stole their cars, because they know there's a reasonable chance they'll get justice.
Start getting justice for rape victims and you will hopefully cut down on some of this violent male vigilantism.
You hit the bulls eye there, Fastidia
Yes by other men.
Have you thought of campaigning against male violence?
That way, all the rapists you're so worried about, might be safe.
I note that the woman was in the company of men. Funnily enough, women on their own or in a group, don't beat up men. (Unless they're that kickass group in India who beat up domestic violence abusers, whose name escapes me right now).
Oh well done, you found one.
What percentage of attacks on males do you think that females attacking males account for?
The same percentage as false allegations of rape?
See here's the thing: let's repeat again for the trolls, the MRA's, the inattentive and those who have just stumbled upon the thread and can't be bothered to read the whole thing (nothing wrong with that):
a quarter of all women get raped or sexually assaulted.
Most do not report - 85-90%.
Of those who do, only 2% ish are actually lying about it, but only 6% get to see their rapist jailed.
Which would most reasonable people see as the priority?
The Mount Everest of sexual assault, or the anthill of false allegations?
If you hate women, obviously the anthill is your first priority.
If you don't, it's not.
Oh right, he's been deleted, sorry, I'll stop talking to him.
Well he's persistent, I'll give him that.
So is this yucky phlegmy cough I've got, running.
I had a persistent phlegmy cough from the 19th of December until the 20th of February.
Do I get a phlegmy prize?
WTF is going on at the moment? Is there a clan somewhere?
Your NN is offensive - why don't you look at the websites for domestic violence and rape support?
What on earth does he think he'll achieve by that?
This person would have had a proper hobby in the old days.
I blame the internet.
Wood turning? That always sounds like a mellow, contemplative hobby.
Or whittling perhaps.
Ah, you have beaten me MT, I've only had mine since 1 feb or so.
I'd love a go at whittling.
Come on Doctrine, keep it up. You can be coughing and wheezing and hawking well into spring.
I've had a cough since christmas, it hurts, I'm a wimp and make half arsed attempts to cough, t'is funny.
<works on coughing technique>
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