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What will happen if the law is changed regarding people accused of rape?

(38 Posts)
ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 21:51:14

This isn't a TAAT but rather a thread inspired by a different thread.

With what has happened to Cliff Richards I have a very horrible feeling that the law will be changed soon so that people accused of rape will be granted anonymity. I'm trying to tell myself that I'm being illogical and the law won't be changed just because people are pushing for it to be changed but I can't help but think it will be.

So what will happen if it is changed? My understanding is that a lot of rape convictions are secured only because other women have come forward after the suspects identity has been revealed. If more than one woman are saying x has raped them then it makes it more likely that a conviction will be secured than if it was only just one person saying he did it.

So if you can't name suspects then what? Will the conviction rate drop? Do you think John Worboys and other serial rapists would have been convicted if they were allowed to remain anonymous?

AndNowItsSeven Sun 10-Jul-16 21:53:58

I hope it is changed, if a man is falsely accused of rape his life will never be the same again. Many people will believe the " no smoke without fire".

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 10-Jul-16 21:56:15

Fewer convictions so even more rapes. But that doesn't matter to people like AndNowItsSeven, clearly.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 10-Jul-16 21:57:50

What a horrible thing to say. Of course I care if more people are being raped.

confusionis Sun 10-Jul-16 21:58:02

Innocent until proven guilty.
That is and should remain the case, but perhaps you would like that to be changed too?

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:00:34

Innocent until proven guilty has nothing to do with suspects being named.

TimeforaNNChange Sun 10-Jul-16 22:01:59

As I understand it, the law should have "protected" Cliff Richard from being publicly named. He has not been charged, therefore his identity as a suspect should not have been known publicly.
I imagine that this is why he has a legal case against the police and BBC, who disclosed his identity to the media as having been arrested in a particular criminal case.

There seems to be no need to change the law - the laws are already there.

The2Ateam Sun 10-Jul-16 22:02:16

I've thought about this a lot, and I think the default position should be that the accused should be granted anonymity, BUT no like victims while have an automatic life long anonymity. Also there should be flexibility for it to be challenged on occasion by the prosecution and the judge makes a decision. So say, stranger rape committed by a cab/taxi driver, then other any other victims could come forward during trial.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 10-Jul-16 22:03:00

Then why do you want anonymity for the accused, Now, despite the evidence it will mean less justice and more rapes? Are the reputations of men so much more important than the suffering of women?

AndNowItsSeven Sun 10-Jul-16 22:07:15

It's not really about reputation is it Countess. Being accused of rape is going to destroy someone's life.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:08:03

Many people will believe the " no smoke without fire".

Do they really? Honestly?

IME people tend to assume that if someone is accused but then acquitted then he is automatically innocent therefore the accusation was obviously a false one. He will then go on to be a "I know someone who was falsely accused..." story.

I was sexually assaulted last year. I reported it but as it was my word against his he was acquitted. Do you think he tells people that he sexually assaulted a woman and got away with it? No of course he doesn't. He tells people I falsely accused him and because he wasn't convicted people believe him over me.

So no, I don't buy this whole "accusations ruins lives" hysteria that people trot out.

The2Ateam Sun 10-Jul-16 22:10:04

of course not, and you're being ridiculous to suggest that it is, or that's my opinion.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:11:04

Being accused of rape is going to destroy someone's life.

People always trot this out but nobody is ever able to back it up.

I can assure that far more women have their lives ruined because of being raped and seeing their attacker walk free than men have because of being falsely accused.

But of course they're women so they aren't important hmm.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 10-Jul-16 22:11:09

No other crime is anonymous so why should this be any different.
The law should not change. But as we can see our society is becoming more and more right wing so I wouldn't be surprised.
It annoys me that because a celeb is involved people start to have an opinion.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 10-Jul-16 22:12:13

Countess But no obviously suffering of women is more important than mans reputations but that's not the issue.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:13:27

AndNowItsSeven if suspects were granted anonymity then people like John Worboys may never have been convicted. He would probably still be out there attacking women today. Are you seriously okay with that?

itsbetterthanabox Sun 10-Jul-16 22:14:14

It's bullshit that it ruins men's lives.
So many acquitted or not taken to court men go on to live completely normally. Look at coronation street. Men accused of rape now back on tv being celebrated.

The2Ateam Sun 10-Jul-16 22:15:02

Well if you're posting on this thread, you have an opinion, celeb or not.

I think it's a possibility that's all. I don't think women's lives don't matter, being a woman and all (Stupid thing to accuse me of!)

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:16:18

This thread has already been derailed.

I wasn't actually interested in debating whether suspects should be granted anonymity. I was more interested in discussions how it would impact women, rape victims and rape conviction rates if suspects were to be granted anonymity.

However it's immediately gone to "but what about the menz!" straight away. Ironic.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:17:19


ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:18:55

So how would the changes affect women who have been raped? I am correct in thinking rape conviction rates would plummet if you weren't allowed to name suspects?

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:21:15

Look at coronation street. Men accused of rape now back on tv being celebrated.


Everyone now believes they were falsely accused and any venom is aimed at their accusers, not them.

However again this was meant to be about women and how it impacts them.

<head desk>

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 10-Jul-16 22:22:24

The law should not , and I think is unlikely to, be changed.

The BBC coverage of the police raid on Richards' house was appalling. It was not in the public interest. It was not a hostage or imminent risk / live shoot out situation which would have justified that sort of coverage.

I think Richards is deeply untalented, odd and one of those people whom I cannot recall ever hearing anything about him which has endeared him to me but he deserved to be treated the same as any other suspect.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:25:15

I don't think women's lives don't matter, being a woman and all (Stupid thing to accuse me of!)

Women can be misogynist.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Sun 10-Jul-16 22:29:15

Can I just point out how ironic it is that a thread that was supposed to be about women and how it affects women has immediately swayed into a discussion about men and how it impacts them?

Kind of proves the point that the general train of thought seems to be men = very important and women = not that important.

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