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to think that rape is NOT the only crime

(105 Posts)
Justforlaughs Tue 14-Jan-14 16:04:10

that blames the victim? I keep reading this and think that actually most victims of crime are blamed to an extent. Did you leave your windows unlocked? Yes, then we're not paying out on the insurance for the burglary. Why were you walking down a dark alley with an expensive mobile phone on display? - of course you're asking to get mugged. Did you give someone else your password? Of course you are the victim of fraud. Did you watch your suitcase every second in the airport? No, then you allowed someone to plant those drugs in your case. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying that it happens. I don't understand it when people say that this only happens in rape cases.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 19:02:03

Grammatically incorrect sarcasm rarely hits the mark

I think you'll find that's another myth.

Proved beyond reasonable doubt wink

Grammatically incorrect sarcasm rarely hits the mark.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 18:31:53

I imagine it was reported for perpetuating victim-blaming rape myths

Okay, if you say you, we believe you.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 15-Jan-14 17:53:32

Sadly, I believe you may be right grin

limitedperiodonly Wed 15-Jan-14 17:47:48

I have no legal training sabrina but I believe the technical term for what you're doing is 'pissing into the wind' wink

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 15-Jan-14 17:18:51

I think quite the opposite, Suzanne. I imagine it was reported for perpetuating victim-blaming rape myths.

MHHQ responded by bringing people's attention to the We Believe You campaign - you know - the one that myth-busts nonsense such as wearing a low cut top is relevant to rape/ a rape trial.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 15:13:04

I'm not surprised this thread was reported.

The problem with this thread is that a number of people seem to think that 'Let's give all alleged rapists a fair trial' means 'Hooray for rape!' and they respond accordingly.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 15-Jan-14 13:16:02

Hello everyone,

Thank you to those who reported this thread to us. We'd think it'd be apt to post a link to our rape awareness campaign We Believe You.

Welshwabbit Wed 15-Jan-14 12:10:52

Agreed on all counts, ChazsBrilliantAttitude.


The remarks were made during sentencing. It does highlight a worrying perception from both the barrister in question and the judge that her behaviour was relevant and contributory to her assault.

At least the AG's referral to the Court of Appeal led to the sentence being properly reviewed.

Welshwabbit Wed 15-Jan-14 11:58:49

WilsonFrickett, I understand and sympathise with that preconception. My experience of trials relating to rape and sexual assault is some years out of date now, but I think that in most cases judges do their best to limit the questioning and submissions to what is relevant (which is an important part of the job they are there to do).

The case where the 13 year old was described as "predatory" was really unusual, hence the widespread news coverage, the subsequent inquiries, and the CPS's decision to remove the prosecutor from prosecuting sexual offences - see this report:

Even in that (appalling) case, it seems that the remarks were made by the prosecutor and the judge at the sentencing stage, so would not have influenced the jury's verdict.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 15-Jan-14 11:26:45


""The cut of the victim's top and her prior sexual history is irrelevant and is extraneous shit."

Many jurors would agree with you, and many would disagree. The important thing is that a defendant in any trial is allowed to defend himself to the best of his (and his barrister's) ability."

you have hit on the point of the thread here - the problem is that whilst the LAW agrees that the victim's top and her prior sexual history is irrelevant, many JURORS would indeed take it into account if this evidence were presented to them (which is why, generally, it is not allowed to be these days). The OP is asking why that should be the case, and why it is the case amongst the general public (not in the jury room) who have a tendency to exactly take that kind of thing into account and then blame the victim.

WilsonFrickett Wed 15-Jan-14 11:21:12

I agree suzanne your point does indeed continue to elude me. Welshwabbit's however does not.

Welsh I think there is a preconception, valid or not, that exploring issues round consent will by their very nature be prejudicial to the woman - who after all is a witness, not on trial. I think a pp upthread talked about the case when a 13 yo was described as 'predatory' - no doubt that was felt a valid contribution to whether she consented or not. sad

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 10:46:13

Welshwabbit's post is very good and very clear.

Yes, and with no hint of personal animosity towards other contributors.

Let's hope a few people do read and learn.

Welshwabbit's post is very good and very clear.

Read and learn.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 10:29:55

Careful, Welshwabbit.

By sticking to the topic and offering unbiased opinions upon same, you might deter people from launching personal attacks upon others whose views they either disagree with or fail to understand.

Welshwabbit Wed 15-Jan-14 10:10:54

The reason why the conduct of the victim is explored more in rape trials than in e.g. a trial for theft or burglary is, as many people have said further upthread, because consent is so often in issue in rape cases. Also, in most rape cases the only witness is the victim, and the only physical evidence available is often consistent both with a crime (rape) and something that is not a crime (consensual sex). In a theft or burglary case you are more likely to have witnesses, and more likely to have physical evidence that is probative of the crime (e.g. alleged burglar says I never went near the place, but there is CCTV evidence of them outside and evidence of their DNA/fingerprints inside the house. In a rape case, where the issue is consent, that would prove nothing).

So I think there are valid reasons for exploring the victim's behaviour towards, and relationship with, the alleged perpetrator in rape trials where consent is the issue. What is, in my view not reasonable is the more general commentary around women "asking for it" by going out in "provocative clothing". That's just general anti-woman stuff, as far as I'm concerned. There's no evidence that the way you dress makes you more likely to be raped, and even if there were, it's really not desirable to give women a message that the way they dress makes them responsible for other people's violence.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 10:10:11

I do expect men to give total consideration to whether a woman has consented to sexual intercourse.

Good. You are in that respect at one with all right-thinking people.

Again, your point is?

Eluding you, it seems.

CaptainHindsight Wed 15-Jan-14 10:09:51

Suzanne likes to mansplain i think.

She also loves biscuit

WilsonFrickett Wed 15-Jan-14 10:00:33

grin limited

Oh and Suzanne, before you come back to spread more ill-informed bile, I also expect women to give total consideration to a man's preference when it comes to having or not having sex too.

I'm an equal opportunities consenter, me.

WilsonFrickett Wed 15-Jan-14 09:58:51

Of course I do. For the purpose of absolute clarity for you let me repeat: I do expect men to give total consideration to whether a woman has consented to sexual intercourse.

Again, your point is?

ComposHat Wed 15-Jan-14 09:57:21

Err yes Suzanne cos if you don't respect someone's right to consent to sex then that's rape.

limitedperiodonly Wed 15-Jan-14 09:56:46

I put it to you, m'lud, that someone has been reading the Perry Mason Book For Boys.

SuzanneUK Wed 15-Jan-14 09:52:58

I don't actually give a flying fuck what most men would prefer.

And yet you expect men to give total consideration to a woman's preference when it comes to her having or not having sex?

What a wonderfully fair and rational attitude.

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