Guardian publishes misleading article about rape

(117 Posts)
Nyac Tue 20-Mar-12 16:21:58

Claims the conviction rate for rape is 58% when in fact only one in ten reported rapes are prosecuted, so the conviction rate for reported rape is 6%.

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/19/myths-about-rape-conviction-rates

Also called the reactions to the prosecution of a women who withdrew her rape allegation as "hysterical".

OP’s posts: |
SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 16:36:40

That doesn't make much sense.

If you report a rape to the police, and assuming that they don't "no crime" it, you will see a 6 in 100 chance of a conviction.

If your case is a super-duper cut and dried number, then the CPS will cherry pick it and send it to court, in which case you have a 58 in 100 chance of a conviction.

It's not complicated. Both figures are true, both figures have their place. The one women are most interested in is, obviously, what chance there is of a conviction if they go to the police. The answer is, 6%. (Again that doesn't take no crimes into account).

I also don't understand her second point. She says that reaction to the case where the woman was jailed was hysterical, especially given that due to changes in guidance it cannot happen again. She then goes on to say that the person she spoke to said police would use wasting police time instead and so there was nothing to stop it happening again. So her ideas seem a bit confused there.

Who is she?

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 16:48:17

www.straightstatistics.org/article/how-panic-over-rape-was-orchestrated

I think this statistic site basically backs up this article, it's not an MRA site either, from what I can tell. If it's true I think it's a discussion worth having IMO.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 20-Mar-12 16:58:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:01:18

Are you talking about my post?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 20-Mar-12 17:03:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:08:38

What?? It doesn't contravene anything? Certainly doesn't contravene the 'We Believe You' campaign. Isn't MN about debate and discussion? There was a link to the article in the Guardian in Nyac's post, I'm commenting on it.

I'm not disputing MN's findings, not at all. Is this really where we are now?

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MsCellophane Tue 20-Mar-12 17:17:12

I have been on MN for 5 years and people have always quoted the 6%. I have been suprised it hasn't ever gone up or down

But, I know that I wouldn't report a rape as I believed the 6%, so what is the point. I wonder if others feel the same way, if they do, then isn't the quoting of 6% damaging?

I have been raped twice, 1st time was a stranger, 2nd a boyfriend, I didn't report either as I was so young (under 16) and didn't know who to turn to. If the same attacks happened yesterday with me believing the 6% I wouldn't report. Today, reading that article, my opinion has changed and I would report both as I now feel I have been mislead

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 17:18:27

The article says (in a long winded and number heavy manner, to dress it up as fact rather than opinion) that the women who do not secure a conviction for rape are lying.

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 17:20:09

He also quotes a terribly high "official" false reporting figure which does not tie in with anything I have seen.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:20:22

Exactly, Ms Cellophane. That was the whole point of the Guardians article and my post. They are positive findings, and will encourage more women to report.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 20-Mar-12 17:20:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 20-Mar-12 17:24:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:24:18

I have namechanged StewieGriffinsMom.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:25:19

I suggested the link because it backs up the article in the Guardian. That is all.

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 17:26:59

mscellophane if you report a rape to the police the chance of seeing a conviction is 6%.

It is 58% if your case goes to trial. Most cases do not go to trial.

In the circumstance that you talk about - thinking should I report a rape or not - 6% is the figure that is of most relevance.

NarkedPuffin Tue 20-Mar-12 17:30:33

You've reported and explained why.

Don't let that derail the thread.

shortsmallsally Tue 20-Mar-12 17:32:32

Sardine, Mrscellophane just said that if she'd had the new information she would have reported.

You have just reinforced that view that the chance of seeing a conviction is 6%. Why would you say that? Essentially it's like saying, don't bother, you won't win. I can't understand that, sorry.

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 17:33:14

Of course most women also "screen" their attacks to see how they measure up to the sort of crime that is more likely to get taken seriously IYSWIM.

So most women don't just think 6%/58% anyway. They think what has happened, are they going to be interested/take it seriously.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 20-Mar-12 17:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nyac Tue 20-Mar-12 17:42:49

Yes, only a small number out of the women on Mumsnet who were raped or sexually assaulted, even reported. This article is very smug and misleading.

OP’s posts: |
MooncupGoddess Tue 20-Mar-12 17:50:47

That straight statistics article is horrible... key paragraph here:

'Since the 1980s certain of the standard defence options normally available to a person deemed innocent until proven guilty are no longer available in rape cases. The requirement of corroborating evidence, so essential in ordinary criminal cases has been waived for rape cases and is no longer available to the defendant.'

The point is that with rape there often is no corroborating evidence. Certainly the many women who post about being raped by their partners on the Relationships topic would have no corroborating evidence... and they don't report the rapes.

I do see that it would be useful to quote the attrition rates of other crimes for comparison purposes, but to be honest I find it pretty depressing that the attrition rate of Violence Against the Person (say) is 4%. Certainly not a great reflection on the police and CPS.

SardineQueen Tue 20-Mar-12 17:56:10

That section seems to hint that the law has been changed just for rape cases so that innocent until proven guilty no longer applies hmm

I liked this bit.

"This official misinformation, one suspects, was a deliberate policy choice (beginning somewhere around 1988) to ensure that no matter what the cost, rape and sex crimes would climb remorselessly up the political agenda."

With no indication as to WHY he thinks successive administrations would decide to do that!

FrothyDragon Tue 20-Mar-12 18:00:02

Christ, this again? (frustration at Guardian, not this section, btw)

Right. From the Stern review findings.

Out of 100 reports of rape, the results are as follows:

74 will see no further action for a variety of reasons.
26 will see the suspect charged with rape.

Of the 26 suspects charged, 7 cases won't proceed. 7 cases will end in no conviction. 6 will be charged for a related offence (this is NOT the same as a report for rape ending in a conviction; it's the related offence that has resulted in a conviction.) 6 suspects will be charged with rape.

Now, I've checked and double checked. That means 6% of all reported rapes end in a conviction. It also means around 23% of suspects charged will be convicted of rape. Of the rape cases that end up in court, just under a third end in a conviction for rape.

<think I've worked that out right...>

Source is towards the bottom of this page

FrothyDragon Tue 20-Mar-12 18:07:35

Hang on, just revising stats for those where the victim doesn't withdraw the report.

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