There\’s two things to say about these new guidelines for prosecutors of rape cases.
A Home Office-commissioned poll revealed earlier this month that two-fifths of the public believe that a woman should be held at least partly responsible for being sexually assaulted or raped if she was flirting with the man before the attack.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said: "Prosecutors are under a constant duty to keep up with the law and social attitudes. This is especially so when handling cases of rape and domestic violence, which present us with many issues to be aware of when dealing with victims. The feedback from the consultation has been invaluable and we will continue to work to improve the service we offer."
The first is that the people who determine whether a crime has been committed, the sole deciders of fact, are the people through the jury. That\’s the fundamental part of our legal system. And if those people think that women might indeed contribute to their rape then that\’s just the way that it is.
I or you might not like this, but that\’s an irrelevance. Justice must be done and must be seen to be done. According to those social standards that the people hold.
The other is more detailed:
Other myths to be challenged are the way a victim acts proves whether she was raped or not, victims cry rape if they regret having sex or want revenge, only gay men are raped and prostitutes cannot be raped.
I agree that most of those are myths. Except the regret or the revenge. We\’ve seen cases where exactly that was true. It might be rare, it might be uncommon, but for a prosecutor to entirely rule out that it is even possible risks yet more breaches of justice.