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Changes in how rape will be investigated- about time!

(591 Posts)
AWholeLottaNosy Wed 28-Jan-15 22:05:20

I just read this and I was really pleased. It's about time rape was investigated and prosecuted differently considering the appalling rape conviction rate we have in this country. Imagine there will be an outcry from all the MRAs, but, I think it's very good news...

AWholeLottaNosy Wed 28-Jan-15 22:05:32

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 28-Jan-15 23:50:57

Just saw this on Twitter too. If it actually works and is followed, this would be a massive step forward. Nice to have some good news on this!

PuffinsAreFictitious Thu 29-Jan-15 06:31:32

Also in the Guardian

Beware the comments. Apparently a lot of men don't think they should have to have a definite yes before they stick their cocks into women. Or men. Having to prove how they knew a woman had consented is against the basic principles of law, apparently. Shame they don't have to use their real names, would be good to have a list of rapey men really...

PetulaGordino Thu 29-Jan-15 07:48:01

Sounds very promising! Alison Saunders seems to have her head screwed on properly

It's strange that there are all these men who think that women are just waiting for a change in the law so that they can "cry rape" in genuinely consensual situations. It's as though women aren't supposed to actually enjoy sex at all. Oh wait...

HouseWhereNobodyLives Thu 29-Jan-15 08:08:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cailindana Thu 29-Jan-15 09:07:18

Practice will probably be slow in changing. But I think the change will have a greater impact societally by sending out the signal that it is men's responsibility not to rape rather than women's responsibility to avoid being raped. It also starts to dismantle the fucked-up ideas about consent.

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Thu 29-Jan-15 09:13:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cailindana Thu 29-Jan-15 09:19:59

I just can't read the comments around things like this - the stark, unapologetic misogyny really gets to me.

HouseWhereNobodyLives Thu 29-Jan-15 09:30:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeCool Thu 29-Jan-15 09:56:21

It's not a change in the law but a change in police & CPS guidelines.

I'm really very pleased to see this - the "world view" around rape and consent is shifting.

"Mrs Saunders said: “For too long society has blamed rape victims for confusing the issue of consent - by drinking or dressing provocatively for example - but it is not they who are confused, it is society itself and we must challenge that.
“Consent to sexual activity is not a grey area - in law it is clearly defined and must be given fully and freely.
“It is not a crime to drink, but it is a crime for a rapist to target someone who is no longer capable of consenting to sex though drink.
“These tools take us well beyond the old saying 'no means no' - it is now well established that many rape victims freeze rather than fight as a protective and coping mechanism.
“We want police and prosecutors to make sure they ask in every case where consent is the issue - how did the suspect know the complainant was saying yes and doing so freely and knowingly?”

MrsKCastle Thu 29-Jan-15 10:25:55

I just made the mistake of reading some of the comments. Shocking.

I honestly think that most men, as well as women, should welcome these changes. For men who respect women, they are not at all threatening:

How did you know that she consented?
Well your honour, she removed my clothes, ran her hands over my body and placed my hand on her genitals. I asked if she wanted more and she said, 'God yes, fuck me now.'

If a man always ensures that his partner freely consents, then he has nothing to fear because
a) his partners are very unlikely to make an allegation of rape
b) even if an allegation was made, they'd be able to explain the steps that they'd taken so would have a very strong defence.

AnnieLobeseder Thu 29-Jan-15 10:32:17

It does begger belief (well, it doesn't, but it should) that some men actually object to being expected to obtain enthusiastic consent from their sexual partners. But yes, this news is very encouraging and I hope it does signal a shift in cultural perceptions that men are entitled to penetrate women's bodies and it's up to women to actively stop them if they don't want it.

NimpyWWindowmash Thu 29-Jan-15 10:34:05

but how can you PROVE it?

If a woman says yes, but later claims she didn't, that's it then?

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Thu 29-Jan-15 10:37:10

I was wondering that Nimpy. The idea in principle is wonderful but in practice how does it work?

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Thu 29-Jan-15 10:38:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cailindana Thu 29-Jan-15 10:39:51

No of course not Nimpy. There still has to be a trial.

The point is, that we remove all this bullshit around cases like that of the rapist Ched Evans. He was rightly convicted because his victim was too drunk to consent. The onus was on him in that situation to see that even if she was lying there not objecting there was no way someone in that state could genuinely consent. The normal, human thing to do would be to say "Nah love you're too drunk, let's get you home," rather than to just hop on and have a go anyway.

Yet there are people including the rapist himself, who claim that he did nothing wrong.

Under the new guidance the message going out there will be that in any sexual encounter both people will need to be fully on board. It will help to dismantle this fucked-up situation where, if a man doesn't actually physically force his victim, then all other methods - drink, threats, bullying - are fair game. It sends the strong message that it is not ok for anyone to simply extract sex from another person - both people must be freely consenting, with no strings.

DrDre Thu 29-Jan-15 10:40:02

If it's one persons word against anothers then you can't prove it. That's one of the reasons why the conviction rate is horrendously low.

cailindana Thu 29-Jan-15 10:42:57

In the past it was extremely common for prosecutors to say "she was drunk" as a way of implying that she "asked for it." Under the new guidance, "she was drunk" actually goes against the defendant because if it can be shown, as in the case of Ched Evans, that she was so drunk she didn't know what she was doing, then that is strong evidence of rape. It basically turns the situation around from the fucked up situation we have now where women are expected to stay sober in order to prevent rape, to a situation where men are expected to keep away from drunk women and not rape them.

sliceofsoup Thu 29-Jan-15 10:44:06

I am glad they are doing something about this.

But I still don't see how it changes anything.

In most situations, its still his word against hers. He can no more prove that she said yes than she can prove she said no/didn't consent.

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Thu 29-Jan-15 10:45:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloraFox Thu 29-Jan-15 10:45:14

Nimpy the headline is not correct. Men don't have to prove they got consent, the onus is still on the prosecution to prove it. However police and prosecutors are asked to question the man and ask for his explanation of why he believed the woman consented. We've talked about that on here before, it is a great step forward.

MrsKCastle's example of how it would work is a good one. I reckon most people probably think that is currently what happens. We often hear "well it's a case of he said / she said" but it's often not as the man doesn't need to give any explanation of why he thought she consented. If you think about it, it is more shocking that this has not been the case before.

MrsKCastle Thu 29-Jan-15 10:45:58

Nimpy- first, how likely do you think it is that a woman will consent freely and enthusiastically and then 'cry rape'?

But if they did, you're right that it would come down to who was lying. As it does now in some cases. The difference as I see it is a shift in expectations, that the onus is now on the man to check that consent is given.

(Obviously, this should equally apply to women- everyone should be checking for consent, but we're talking specifically about rape here).

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Thu 29-Jan-15 10:46:28

Flora - thanks. That does help

FloraFox Thu 29-Jan-15 10:47:00

DrDre you can prove it if both parties give evidence and one is credible and the other is not. That's what juries are for. This rule makes it more likely the accused's full account of what happened will be put before the jury.

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