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Would you stay with a partner accused of rape?

(207 Posts)
Scrapper142 Sat 11-Nov-17 22:53:01

Inspired by news and personal experience, interested to know, would you stay and if you have experienced it, did stay or get out?

Ed Westwicks gf has been defending him and said she believes he's innocent. Although postponed getting engaged.

The man who raped me is happily in a new relationship. It's something I don't tend to think about, but his name was tagged in a fb post on my feed his week and in a moment of weakness I looked. There was a picture of his gf blissfully happy.

I just wonder how she stays with him (assuming she knows). I'm sure if she has been told it's an edited and manipluated version. But I expect she is completely unaware and unaware of the reality of the man she is sharing her life with. It makes me so sad for her and then so fucking angry (that he can do this).

It's strange as I feel connected to this complete stranger, I know it's not my problem but I can't help but worry about her. Then I think she'd probably never want to hear or accept the truth anyway?!?!

RidingWindhorses Sat 11-Nov-17 22:54:26

Nope. I don't believe the two women who reported it were lying.

Pinkpillows Sat 11-Nov-17 23:21:08

Nieve outlook, she could be getting raped by him and frightened to leave him. People always post mushy lovely photos to brag but reality could be different either way it's no longer your problem

As for staying with a rapist....err no fucking way

Shoxfordian Sun 12-Nov-17 08:20:31

Yeah she probably wouldn't believe you if you contacted her and its not your problem. Appearances aren't all they seem on facebook anyway, people post things making their lives look amazing but its not all real

I wouldn't stay with a man accused of rape

Blarblarblar Sun 12-Nov-17 08:30:06

My friend did.
Her partner told her it was alcohol indused narcosis, he thought I was her. Heap of utter shite and she was an "educated" woman. She decided it was a mistake expected me to accept his apology and for us all to move on. I guess the thought of being alone was worse for her than living with what he did. I loved her so much it broke my heart.
She lost a lot of friends he left her anyway.
It would be hard to believe the person you loved could do that.

CountessofGrantham Sun 12-Nov-17 08:35:24

Accused of and guilty of are two different things though. You’re all citing examples of men who were guilty. If someone accused my DH of rape as per your title? He’s the most straight down the line, moral, honourable, gentle and genuinely nice man I’ve ever met. If he was guilty then yes of course I’d be out of the door. But I’d want a lot more than just an accusation to believe that of him.

ferrier Sun 12-Nov-17 08:37:28

In the case of Ed Westwick, innocent until proven guilty.
In proven cases, of course no.

TammySwansonTwo Sun 12-Nov-17 11:10:34

Innocent until proven guilty is a legal term, defining whether someone is convicted or not, not whether they've actually done something and whether it affects their life. Over 90% of rape cases don't end in a conviction. No one who has raped or assaulted me has spent a day in court.

My response would depend on various factors I suppose but I'd never be declaring him innocent - I couldn't possibly know, and the narrative that all rapists are sexual predators is how regular men get away with this.

Blarblarblar Sun 12-Nov-17 18:21:52

So true tammy the amount of accusations that even hit court is minimal. "Nice" men rape it's not all dirty mac wearing pervs it's the very "nice" man next door mostly.

Anatidae Sun 12-Nov-17 18:32:48

This is a question I suppose that a lot of people will answer through the prism of their current relationship.

If someone accused DH for example, I’d have trouble believing it because I know him well and believe he’s a decent person. I’m sure a lot of other people will answer similarly. If I had even the tiniest inkling he’d done something like that it’d shatter the relationship. I’d have a hard time believing it and if I thought it wasn’t a true allegation then yes, I would stay.

Is that a different thing though to what you’re asking? You’re asking how someone can initiate/continue a relationship with a man with a track record of known/ accused sexually predatory behaviour? That I don’t know.

I think people are capable of cognitive dissonance on a grand scale. To go from believing a person you loved and judged safe is innocent to knowing they are guilty must be a huge wrench. It casts doubt on yourself as well -your judgement, your worth etc. Perhaps it’s easier to deny everything? I know it’d shake me to my core if the mani loved and trusted was found guilty of rape.

I think we save our ire for the men in this situation - they are the attackers. Their partners may be victims as well - I don’t think men like this change that much.

I’m very sorry this happened to you - you’re well within your rights to see them carrying on with a nice life as deeply unfair.

Amber0685 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:41:15

I would like to think I would not be with a partner who would rape as Anatidae said.

StorminaBcup Sun 12-Nov-17 18:47:42

I don’t think I could stay with someone accused of rape or if I knew they had been accused in the past. Personally there would always be a niggling doubt that would probably ruin the relationship anyway. Unless it was absolutely impossible that my DH or DP could have done it. By impossible I mean they were with me or at the other end of the country or something.

AnnaF55 Sun 12-Nov-17 20:35:49

My once close relative's partner attempted to rape a woman and was jailed for it. Sadly for her the truth only came out a week after their wedding, after he did something else abhorrent. She has been with him for over twenty years, making constant excuses for him
And always blaming the women involved. Being with such a man transformed her from a good woman who loved her family to an evil piece of work. Would she still have married him if she knew? Sometimes I think she would have forgiven him anything.

Guavaf1sh Sun 12-Nov-17 20:54:10

People are innocent until proven guilty. Obviously be cautious if your partner is accused and take precautions until either guilt or innocence has been ascertained

Blueskyrain Sun 12-Nov-17 21:51:09

No, I wouldn't leave him, because I don't believe he's capable of rape. If I believed he was capable of it, I wouldn't be with him long enough for him to be accused.

Scrapper142 Sun 12-Nov-17 22:10:00

Tammy completely agree. Unfortunately the criminal system is too unreliable to be a true marker of guilt. To stay with someone until twelve strangers make the decision for you is too black and white for me.

Based on the evidence people need to make their own assertion of guilt irrelevant of a criminal case. If you truly believed a man to be innocent then a guilty verdict wouldn't change that and vice-versa. (Speaking as if close to the case)

Anatidae- was asking about finding out while in a relationship rather than prior to.

I agree, to accept someone is capable of this is difficult, as you say it's a poor reflection on your own judgement and life shattering. But then statistically we're all likely have men we our lives that are guilty of something.

I don't blame her at all. At the very least she's a victim of his lies and manipulations. Weirdly I think I'd prefer to be in my situation than hers, at least I'm not living a daily lie and potentially building a life and future based on bullshit.

TammySwansonTwo Mon 13-Nov-17 01:53:21

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you wouldn't have any idea if your partner had ever raped or assaulted someone. There aren't nasty evil rapists and then decent lovely men, that's now how it works. People are complex. You can easily be in a loving relationship with someone who has traumatically hurt someone else and have no idea. That's how people like this get away with committing these crimes - they make themselves above suspicion.

And again, the justice system is never going to be vigorous enough on this issue to be enough for me to make a personal decision like that. Many guilty people are found innocent of this crime, all the time, given what a private crime there is and given that there's rarely evidence to prove lack of consent. And that's is the victim is even willing to go to police, and if the police are even willing to take it to court. There's so much talk of false accusations ruining lives, and there are rare isolated cases of this, but in the real world it's much more likely that a man will assault or rape a woman and never be so much as interviewed by the police.

The majority of the men responsible for all the recent MeToos don't even consider themselves to be abusers / rapists. They don't see what they did as criminal, legitimately, even when it is. Most sexual abusers aren't classic sexual predators, they're people who are selfish and ignore boundaries for their own gratification.

Anatidae Mon 13-Nov-17 08:41:56

Ok - well that puts the slant on it that if you ask that question you’ll get a response based on how people feel about their current partner. That’s illogical, but understandable

I cannot imagine dh doing that. Of course that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of it, technically. But to be honest we all live our lives through the prism of our own experiences.

So in a way my response is hypocritical, because I’m aware that I’d have one level of proof needed for some hypothetical random man and another for my husband. That’s probably a logical error but it is what it is.

And again I am well aware that the majority of men who rape and abuse are not stereotypical monsters and that it’s highly likely that I have men in my current extended social circle who have done something like this. I have had in the past, and I’ve had no hesitation in cutting them off.

Youve asked a very insightful question actually - and one that cuts to the heart of what we perceive a rapist to look like and how rape is handled in society. Because none of us want to admit that a man we love is that man. And that, in essence is one of the reasons prosecution and conviction rates are so low.

RidingWindhorses Mon 13-Nov-17 09:55:37

I have no reason to doubt the two women who gave their accounts of his behaviour, and in that circumstance I could not be with a man who I felt may well have done what he was accused of.

I don't get the impression Westwick's been with this girl for more than a couple of years. So how well does she actually know him?

PaintingByNumbers Mon 13-Nov-17 10:02:18

Kind of experience of this, my dad was accused of something similar, sadly the woman had absolutely massive mental health issues, and killed herself in the end. Fortunately from my dads point of view he was actually abroad and with incontrovertible proof but that experience makes me certain that it is not wise to be one of the 'always believe the victim' people. There are fantasists and people with mental health issues out there

TammySwansonTwo Tue 14-Nov-17 09:01:56

There's a difference between not being 100% whether it's true or not, or going on public record saying he's definitely innocent.

I guess I do have a different perspective on this - you start realising that almost any man can be guilty of something like this under the right (or I guess, wrong) circumstances when you have been abused by your father, assaulted by multiple partners and raped by another. I know exactly how impossible it is to know what others have done and are capable of.

Primaryteach87 Tue 14-Nov-17 09:06:35

Honestly, quite possibly yes. I think it’s so hugely unlikely that my husband would be guilty that I would need more than an accusation, and I say that as someone who has been sexually assaulted. I have a very high degree of trust in him, but obviously would depend on the circumstances.

Crumbs1 Tue 14-Nov-17 09:10:33

In my book all people are innocent until proven through a court of law to be guilty. I can’t imagine it ever happening but would hope to support my husband over and above some unproven allegations.

I actually think it’s very wrong to publish names of celebrities et al who have had claims made but who haven’t even been arrested, yet alone found guilty. Not sure how a trial by the press can ever be fair.

RidingWindhorses Tue 14-Nov-17 09:12:26

Fortunately from my dads point of view he was actually abroad and with incontrovertible proof but that experience makes me certain that it is not wise to be one of the 'always believe the victim' people.

It's rather disingenuous to question believing the victim stance based on that. There's no question that false allegations do happen, but they're very rare, and quite often mental health is an issue.

I'd say it was very unwise to decide not to believe the victims generically because one day it could be you or a friend/relative.

TammySwansonTwo Tue 14-Nov-17 09:15:09

Crumbs1 what you're throwing around there is a legal term and relates to them being prosecuted.
In reality, you KNOW that's not true because the crime has either been committed or hasn't long before they ever reach the courtroom - it's not made a crime when the guilty verdict comes in.

So you can't send them to jail, sure. But deciding whether to continue a relationship is not done in a courtroom and court verdicts, based on whether there's sufficient evidence to convict (which there isn't in over 90% of cases and over 90% of victims are not lying), are not so relevant.

The fact that no one believes their partner could do this is interesting given how many women have been assaulted - do we think all those assailants are single? Someone's married to or living with them! Just not you though, right?

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