Crying rape

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.

9 comments on “Crying rape

  1. “…for a prosecutor to entirely rule out that it is even possible risks yet more breaches of justice.”

    What on earth makes you think that ‘justice’ is what is driving these people?

    Frankly, it’s the opposite

  2. so this article advocates the publics ie the juries predudiced ideas cannot be altered, so we allow dangerous offenders out onto the streets so when rape is not enough for them they kill the next victim? only 6% of rapists are convicted, does that mean 94% of women are out for revenge? Who in their right mind can believe this?

  3. “only 6% of rapists are convicted, does that mean 94% of women are out for revenge? Who in their right mind can believe this?”

    No only 6% of rapes reported to the police result in a conviction. Reported rapes only make up a small proportion of actual rapes judging by the BCS.

    However among reported rapes a significant proportion are false, and you can’t simply assume that no accuser is making it up.

    Definitive statistics are hard to come by, but one US researcher who examined all the rapes reported to one police department over the course of a decade found that at least 41% of accusations were false.

    The exact numbers might be different in other places but they aren’t going to be so negligable as to mean that the possibility of bogus accusations made for revenge or other motives can simply be dismissed by the CPS.

  4. “only 6% of rapists are convicted, does that mean 94% of women are out for revenge? Who in their right mind can believe this?”

    I suppose the solution is that if the jury believes the man is guilty, then he is found guilty. If they find him not guilty, the judge rolls a die – 1, 2 or 3 and he is found guilty also.

    Unless you have a better way to improve conviction rates?

  5. I think you will find the conviction rate for burglars is considerably less that 6%.

    The problem is chiefly one of public sector inefficiency, which the Labour Party are proposing to correct by abolishing justice.

  6. “There’s two things to say about these new guidelines for prosecutors …” falls into the same grammatical category as “European Elections it’s your choice” doesn’t it Tim?

  7. We get data on conviction rates, but I would also like the data on raw reports, and presecution rates.

    I’d just like to know what proportion of each type of crime is being sidelined by the CPS.

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