Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Wrong Answer

The Telegraph today reports that the government is actively considering ending the anonymity for rape victims/accusers.

This is a dreadful idea, completely wrong-headed and in an attempt to solve a serious problem would be creating even more serious issues.

There is a problem with false allegations of rape for whatever reason, and the women who do this not only wreck the lives of the innocent men that they accuse, but also make it harder for other women who have been raped to have the strength to come forward with confidence that they will receive the support and help they deserve. The answer to the (relatively) small number of women who behave in such a wicked manner cannot be to penalise the women who most need support.

Having said that - until conviction, the charged man should be allowed his anonymity. This protects both men who are innocent from being falsely identified as a rapist and also the victims, as in over 50% of rapes the attacker is a partner or former partner.

We cannot assume that every man found not guilty of rape has been falsely accused. Only 15% of rapes are reported, 20% of these make court and 6% of these result in convictions. More men are getting away with rape than women are lying. To introduce something else which makes the experience harder for victims would be unforgiveable.

Rape Crisis
Truth About Rape

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