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To think a woman isn't automatically lying if a rape trial verdict is not guilty?

(351 Posts)
lilly0 Sun 11-Feb-18 02:30:04

The courts in this country prosecute only on the basis of beyond reasonable doubt. In rape cases the forensic evidence might not be there and it turns into a case of he said she said.
Every other crime we don't seem to automatically call victims liars if the accused is found not guilty. Why is rape so different?

WashingMatilda Sun 11-Feb-18 02:45:45

YANBU.
'Not guilty' means not enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt, not innocent. Really annoys me when people say 'He was found innocent'
No, he was found not guilty due to the not being enough evidence to say 100% it didn't happen.
It's not the same thing at all.

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Sun 11-Feb-18 02:49:52

Most people don't have the first clue about levels of proof.

You can be fairly sure, or even pretty convinced, someone did the crime but you still have a not guilty if you have any reasonable doubt. Since women are thought to be flighty, illogical, lying flakes by the media and a lot of people, there is pretty much always reasonable doubt.

Unlike those stalwart victims of other crimes - men.

FixItUpChappie Sun 11-Feb-18 02:57:41

I don't disagree in principal but......men aren't ever innocent then? That is certainly the assumption the current Metoo# movement is making and I don't personally find that overly palatable either.

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Sun 11-Feb-18 03:02:40

men aren't ever innocent then?

The ones that get to Court? Mostly not. And I can see how uncomfortable that makes good men. But you need to campaign for better conviction rates. Because it's bad for women but also for men. Makes the good ones look bad.

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Feb-18 03:16:43

With such a low conviction rate if it ever does get to court, it's a godsend to anyone wanting to make out that accusations of rape are just made up by hysterical women out to get back at men for dumping them etc.

I understand where the problems of prosecutions come from, in that they can be 'private' offences, taking place behind closed doors with few/no witnesses or ways to prove the truth of the matter, but it's shameful when rapists like that ched wanker are caught banged to rights and he walks off scott free, while his victim is hounded from her home and has more abuse piled on top of what she's already suffered.

I've often wondered why another way of prosecuting such violent offences hasn't been found by now. Is it because it doesn't involve either money/property or men as the victims?

BekoLeGecko Sun 11-Feb-18 03:28:13

I have posted about this under a different username but I was sexually assaulted and raped aged 13. It was by a family member, close enough to make it actually incest (illegal.). This may be extremely triggering so read at your own risk.

It did get to court and after a very uncomfortable year long build up where I was kept in suspension (I wanted to move on but knew I'd have to rehash it all in court so it kept me in a horrible purgatory) it was a relief for getting it all over and done with.
I was not told what I was in for, I knew nothing of cross examining and as the crown was prosecuting I was advised that I needed no solicitor. I bloody well did even if only to prepare me.
In short I was ripped to shreds and told I was a liar, promiscuous and that I had begged for it (literally) and that my clothing was suggestive. I was wearing pyjama trousers, a vest and a dressing gown and it was 9pm IN MY OWN HOME!
I was asked whether I had been drinking; I hadn't. I was asked why I'd lied, I hadn't. I was asked why I didn't scream. I did scream but nobody heard me. The only person with me was the perpetrator and he's going to deny me screaming isn't he hmm
My mother (nowhere near it happening and had my back throughout the aftermath) was also brought into it as was my sister, and I was questioned on my sisters parentage. I don't know why they did this. My sister (I won't call her half, she is my sister) has a different father.

After all that the rapist was convicted for incest (as it happened) but not rape nor assault (because it was deemed I'd consented).
I'd have rather they thought it didn't happen at all rather than thinking I'd bloody asked for it!

If that's what I went through I wonder how they'd treat a grown woman. And I have to say I will never ever ever report any assaults against me of a sexual nature ever again. I have been attacked since (different person).
I went for a long bath with bleach, got an sti test and that was that. I refuse to be called a whore in front of a jury ever again. FYI, this wasn't that long ago.
8 years ago.

I'm not surprised by the conviction rate.

BekoLeGecko Sun 11-Feb-18 03:30:56

FYI, he also walked free with a suspended sentence. So I still didn't feel safe or believed.

TheButterflyOfTheStorms Sun 11-Feb-18 03:35:17

Safe or believed? You'd think that would be the first thing victims needed. But they don't get it. flowers

I believe you Beko.

AgentZigzag Sun 11-Feb-18 03:51:43

flowers I'm sorry you had to to through that Beko, it's outrageous, it really is.

Pengggwn Sun 11-Feb-18 05:09:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RochelleGoyle Sun 11-Feb-18 07:03:59

'Unlike those stalwart victims of other crimes - men.'

Haha, Butterfly yes, quite!

Anniegetyourgun Sun 11-Feb-18 07:18:00

Bloody hell, Beko, at 13 you should not be deemed to have consented by law. That's what the age of consent means! You'd kind of hope a judge would know that even if the prosecution had conveniently forgotten confused

It seems that many really do continue to think of rape as a crime of having sex rather than as a peculiarly intimate assault (whether or not accompanied by other violence).

QueenLaBeefah Sun 11-Feb-18 07:23:17

Beko- I believe you flowers

One of my friend's boyfriend brutally raped her as she slept. It went to trial and she was torn to shreds - it was horrific. Of course he was found innocent.

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Sun 11-Feb-18 07:25:13

YANBU and this is why I haven’t reported my ex to the police for raping me over the years. I can’t bear the thought of not only not being believed but outright accused of all sorts when I know (as does my nasty bastard of an ex) what he did.

I feel guilty about it and a total hypocrite because if it was my daughter told me this happened I would actively encourage her to report it.

I honestly do believe the vast majority of the cases that end up in court are 100% guilty but there just isn’t the proof to convict them of it.

Poffley Sun 11-Feb-18 07:31:09

Worked in DV and sexual abuse services for many years. Hardly anyone gets convicted because it's so difficult to prove. There are thousands of guilty men walking round free to do it to other women.

Pengggwn Sun 11-Feb-18 07:31:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poffley Sun 11-Feb-18 07:32:21

It's very difficult when your job is to help and support women to report and stay safe but yet you know that 99% of the time their abuser won't have anything happen to them. The law is fucked.

Shimmershimmerandshine Sun 11-Feb-18 07:35:20

Yanbu at all op. I've shuddered over the reporting of the recent hidden evidence stuff. Nothing that I can see has 'proven innocence' of anyone, merely shifted the balance of evidence towards the man being a acquitted, it isn't the same thing.

Beko so sorry you had to go through that flowers

Pengggwn Sun 11-Feb-18 07:36:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleMyLikesSnuffkin Sun 11-Feb-18 07:37:19

That’s why I said the vast majority but not all cases that reach court are guilty.

It must be horrible to be falsely accused of rape and worse, wrongly convicted. But I don’t think that it’s any worse than it is for someone who’s actually been raped.

Pengggwn Sun 11-Feb-18 07:41:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wheresmyfuckingcupcake Sun 11-Feb-18 07:42:59

Logically, op, your proposition is perfectly right. Saying something cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt is not the same as saying it didn’t happen.
Factually, would concur that most people who end up charged with most offences have done it. Coppers don’t waste their time unless it’s pretty clear. Generally.

Shimmershimmerandshine Sun 11-Feb-18 07:46:24

I don't disagree with that pen my point is merely that innocence has not be proven as reported in the press.

newdaylight Sun 11-Feb-18 07:46:49

Beko that's absolutely horrific to read, I'm so sorry.

The court system is depressing for the above and in my view judges have a big responsibility. It's their courtroom and they should intervene to prevent such questioning.

However a lot of judges are white male dinosaurs from a bygone era and themselves hold bigoted, misogynistic views, and sadly this comes out in the judges comments often, as week as in the permission of such terrible questioning.

OP YANBU, definitely. I've felt strongly about this because it so often comes up in rape cases.

The fact of the matter is, while im sure some innocent people do get to court, it's likely to be very proportion and the chances are that most people who are found not guilty are in fact guilty. The threshold for cps to bring charges is high, and obviously ours possible for people to have done something but for there to not be proof beyond all reasonable doubt.

I've worked in my job with cases where everyone knows someone has done something, including the police, but it doesn't go to court due to lack of evidence.

There's the case of Poppi Worthington where there has not enough evidence as yet to bring her father to the criminal court, but a finding of facts hearing in the family court has found that he sexually abused and killed her (working on the balance of probability rather than beyond reasonable doubt) and a coroner's verdict had recently come to the same conclusion (not sure what threshold of evidence they work to). But there's not even enough evidence for him to go to court.

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