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the we believe you campaign

(77 Posts)
spence82 Thu 13-Nov-14 13:14:42

Hi all

I was just wondering about the we believe you campaign. I know this a very sensitve subject so I assure I'm not asking to offend or start an argument.

I take it the campaign is there to support victims and offer assurances with a crime that is very hard to convict on.

My question is does the campaign automatically imply the guilt of the rapist even though our justice system is innocent until proven guilty? Or is there more to it than that?

Like I said I'm not looking to cause offence just wishing to be educated. Sincere apologies of anyone is offended by the question.

KateeGee Thu 13-Nov-14 13:20:43

It's covered in a web chat with Keir Starmer , it's the post at Tue 29-May-12 10:47:36, in answer to a question from Vickiw1.

spence82 Thu 13-Nov-14 13:25:11

Thanks for that I will have a read now

scallopsrgreat Thu 13-Nov-14 13:49:07

The rapist is guilty though confused

spence82 Thu 13-Nov-14 13:52:48

Scallop sorry I may not have made it clear. I meant if someone was accused of rape.

FloraFox Thu 13-Nov-14 15:43:22

Unless you are a judge or a juror, the presumption of innocence does not apply to you. You are free to form your own views about someone's guilt or innocence and you don't need to presume every accused person is innocent.

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 13-Nov-14 15:50:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FuckOffGerbil Thu 13-Nov-14 16:13:34

You can look at as the posters above as I do, but you could also look at it from the perspective of the two things being separate.

If your girlfriend says she's been raped..hopefully you would believe a crime had committed.

It would be up to the government to prove who did the crime and whether the crime could be legally defined as "rape" (or something else). But I still accept the victim called it rape.

I don't like to use comparisons but if someone robbed your house, no one would disbelieve you would they? it's only with rape we mistrust the victim.

Makes you wonder why?

MyEmpireOfDirt Thu 13-Nov-14 16:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spence82 Thu 13-Nov-14 17:29:59

Thanks all some interesting responses. I think I was looking at it a bit too literally if that makes sense.

That's twice in 2 days now I've done that blush

QueenoftheRant Thu 13-Nov-14 18:24:55

Yy to FuckOffGerbil, that's exactly what I have always said. Why is it only rape and sexual assault that carries this stigma? Is it something men who are raped get faced with too, or is it just - as I think tbh - the women victims?

For no other crime is it routinely suggested that victims are lying. For sex crimes it is the starting assumption.

Drives me Up. The. Wall.

partialderivative Thu 13-Nov-14 18:44:07

For no other crime is it routinely suggested that victims are lying. For sex crimes it is the starting assumption.

For every crime the defendant is assumed innocent until proved guilty.

Why should rape be any different on that account?

FuckOffGerbil Thu 13-Nov-14 18:51:44

Assumption that the defendant is innocent does NOT mean assumption that the accuser is guilty for fucks sake.

If you get mugged no one will assume you made it up.
NO one will assume you were wearnng an "easy access coat"
No one will think maybe you gave the guy the money and then changed your mind.


Seriously, if you were raped you'd want people to assume you were guilty? That's due process in your mind?

fucking hell

partialderivative Thu 13-Nov-14 18:56:30

Assumption that the defendant is innocent does NOT mean assumption that the accuser is guilty for fucks sake.

But isn't that the point? No assumptions ought to be made upon either party.

partialderivative Thu 13-Nov-14 18:58:46

I'm no law expert, so I'll wind in now. And leave it to those who will know more than me.

cadno Thu 13-Nov-14 19:50:01

+98% of the time I'll be right.

So how do you distinguish the 98% from the other 2% ?

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 19:50:07

Partial, as stated above, if you read that someone has been burgled, or the victim of fraud or GBH, or whatever, but as yet no one has been arrested or charged, your base assumption is that the victim is telling the truth. The false allegation rate for all crimes is 3-8% and rape is at the lower end of that range.

So we start from believing that someone who says she has been raped is correctly representing her position ie that she was penetrated without her consent.

Now, it may be the CPS don't take it forward as they don't think it will secure a conviction. It may go to court and the defendant be found not guilty because the case is not proven beyond reasonable doubt. It may be she is mistaken about identity. It may be that the jury thinks although she didn't consent, there was a reasonable belief on the behalf defendant that she did. Etc.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 19:51:14

Cadno, MEOD is required to do that if she is on the jury, on the basis if the evidence. Otherwise, she is entitled to her opinion.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 19:52:48

Partial, cadno - in a case of burglary, say, do you think there's a 50:50 chance that the victim has made it up vs of a crime having happened?

FuckOffGerbil Thu 13-Nov-14 20:12:09

Well I can start with the assumption that that the victim is a lying bitch who made it all up. And then help to further ruin the life of 98% of women who say they have been raped and were raped.

Or I can be wrong 2% of the time and the man in question will not be harmed (as men rarely get convicted and jail sentences anyway) and even if when they do they still get their jobs back at Sheffield United go back to their lives unharmed.

cadno Thu 13-Nov-14 20:17:01

Yonic When ever a person says there's been an offence committed, their statement stands as evidence, but you're also going to want to look for supporting evidence. You try contacting the Police and reporting a burglary when there is no evidence of a break-in, no evidence of a trespasser inside the house, no evidence of anything taken. Maybe you have a particular burglar in mind ? - who is this person, is there any reason why he/she might have been in your house legitimately ? Do you have a grudge about that person ? - you know questions worth asking...

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 20:22:13

Cadno, of course you need to do those things before arresting, charging or even questioning someone.

But in the first instance, as a fellow human, reading the story of a victim, do you tend to believe that the burglary has actually happened, given that false accusation rates are so low?

cadno Thu 13-Nov-14 20:29:41

I would say that rather than 'believing' something, I would want all complaints taken seriously and appropriate action taken to discover the truth of the matter.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 13-Nov-14 20:35:50

The "we believe you" campaign is often in the context of victims posting their stories on MN, perhaps having been disbelieved by family members or friends in the past.

If you read a post on here saying "my wallet was stolen last night", would you say "poor you, that's crap" (ie believe the poster) or would you say "well, the police and courts need to take appropriate action to decide the truth of the matter and then I will believe you, or not, as the case may be."

cadno Thu 13-Nov-14 20:40:39

Well, my wallet was indeed stolen last night - do you believe me ? What if you didn't believe me - would you still want an investigation of my complaint ?

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