False beliefs about rape

Well, yes and no really:

She noted that her research shows an incredibly small minority of jurors (less than one person in every jury) hold erroneous beliefs about rape.

These false beliefs include that rapes always leave a victim with marks and bruises, that a victim will always fight back, that the way someone is dressed or their behaviour makes them more likely to be raped, or that the time taken to report a rape has a bearing on whether the complainant is telling the truth, she said.

Behaviour doesn’t change the odds of being raped? Tottering drunk down back alleyways at 2 am doesn’t increase the odds over being at home with the hot cocoa by 11 pm?

This is not, of course, to claim that the party peeps deserve to be raped or anything. It’s just an observation about predatory behaviour.

21 thoughts on “False beliefs about rape”

  1. Given that ‘stranger rape’ is incredibly rare, tottering drunk (etc) almost certainly has approximately zero percentage impact on the likelihood of being raped.

    Happy to help.

  2. Presumably it depends if we’re talking about “rape rape” or “he made eye contact grauniad-narrative rape”

  3. Thank you for that politically correct comment.

    Stranger rape appears to be 25% or more of all rapes. It is said that there are some 100,000 rapes a year in the UK.

    25,000 times a year is “incredibly rare” is it? Something that’s happening 70 times a day is “incredibly rare”?

    Guess we can close down NHS Wales then as 2,000 times a month is about the number of deaths in that country.

  4. Tim is that 100K rapes or 100k accusations of rape?

    I think the key dynamic in rape in recent years has not been a huge surge in the number of rapes but in the number of accusations of rape. The collapsing conviction rate is the flip side of this coin.

  5. I’m aware of the point. For purposes here I thought it best just to take the “official” figures.

  6. The Meissen Bison

    …her research shows an incredibly small minority of jurors (less than one person in every jury) hold erroneous beliefs about rape

    There’s a certain amount of erroneousness in that.

    What is an “incredibly small minority” and how many fewer than one out of twelve?

    Also, how does one glean valid information on the attitudes of jurors without compromising rules surrounding confidentiality and making assumptions about their attitudes.

  7. “Given that ‘stranger rape’ is incredibly rare, tottering drunk (etc) almost certainly has approximately zero percentage impact on the likelihood of being raped.”

    Weird then that so many rape cases seem to involve alcohol…………..

  8. I’d always assumed that most stranger rapes were caused by going home with the wrong bloke, which of course women are perfectly entitled to do. We mustn’t judge.

  9. @Jim

    That might be related to that warning poster. The guy and girl out happy and drinking but warning guys, she cant consent because she has been drinking. Obviously the guys state doesnt matter

  10. TMB- yep. Get the sense we’re being prepped for a major intervention on the jury system. The obvious is jury selection will be a thing in the UK and all the gubbins that go along with that.

  11. I now realise that I have held an erroneous belief that climbing into the lion enclosure at the zoo makes me more likely to be eaten by a lion.

  12. Are there really 25,000 stranger rapes a year in the UK?
    If there were that many I doubt the media would bother to report them on anything larger than a paragraph on an inside page.

  13. And in other news, Yale has gone bust because no one needs to lock their front door anymore to deter burglars.

  14. ‘The guy and girl out happy and drinking but warning guys, she cant consent because she has been drinking.’

    Sounds like the simplest solution is to forbid the blokes and birds to go out together. Don’t the Mahometans do it that way?

  15. ONS thinks around 15% of UK rapes involve a perpetrator not known to the victim. This would include ‘pick ups’, with and without drunkeness, and of course, the classic violent stranger rape (dragged into the bushes etc) again, with or without alcohol.

    Yes obviously alcohol is a frequent factor in rapes. People frequently consume alcohol, especially when socialising.. and socialising often leads to sex. No useful point is being made there. But as the perpetrator has usually been drinking too, perhaps it’s that some really shouldn’t drink because it might turn them into someone liable to commit a sexual offence? It sucks for those guys, sure, but we have to protect people’s lawful right to drink without being penetrated.

    Back to it though. For the stats, it’s not only the number of rapes that involve drunkenness or tottering. It is also the number of totterings and drunkennesses that do not involve rape. The vast majority of drunken totterings do not end in a rape. So the odds of being raped are not much increased by drunken tottering. Do you know what does increase the chances of being raped.. being in the presence of a rapist.

    As much as it is obviously true that we can do things that would make us more or less vulnerable to some kind of attack should we find ourselves in the vicinity of an attacker, entirely ordinary behaviours, such as drinking and being out late, are so incredibly frequent they won’t have observable impact on our odds.

  16. It’s interesting that you’re proposing that women should be free to drink without consequences, even if it impairs their judgement. But men should always be responsible for their actions, irrespective. Why?

  17. I was under the impression that the point of juror selection was that they would be drawn from the widest cross-secion of the public

    The public has misconceptions about lots of things, so jurors will too

    Its up to the prosecution or defence to point out these misconceptions as part of the trial

    Or have I missed the point?

  18. @Seredius

    ‘As much as it is obviously true that we can do things that would make us more or less vulnerable to some kind of attack should we find ourselves in the vicinity of an attacker, entirely ordinary behaviours, such as drinking and being out late, are so incredibly frequent they won’t have observable impact on our odds.’

    Is it ‘incredibly frequent’ that women are ‘drinking and being out late’ (and, obviously and most importantly for these purposes, alone)?

    I would say it is not that common, precisely because most women do see that there are vile men out there who will take advantage of drunk, lone women, at night, and so take care not to put themselves in that position. Most women that I know, including my daughters, walk home with friends, or use pre-booked cabs.

    I wish we lived in a world where women could get as drunk as they wished and walk (or totter) home alone, as I can, but we don’t. It’s odd to pretend otherwise.

  19. I was under the impression that the point of juror selection was that they would be drawn from the widest cross-secion of the public

    I think both the UK and US do selection of the juror pool based upon the register of voters (less various additional eligibility criteria like excluding serving police officers and the like), what the American system allows, that the UK system doesn’t, is essentially questioning jury pool members prior to them being accepted onto a jury or not, which is done by both prosecution and defence and the number of jury pool members they are allowed to exclude is limited.

    Presumably, the Guardianistas would like to be able to exclude “those with objectionable views” (i.e. not totally signed up to the latest progressive views on what constitutes “rape” in the eyes of a 94th wave Rad Feminazi). I doubt that is going to happen, but I could see at least a trial of Judge only rape trials. I doubt it will make any significant difference to the statistics though.

  20. The Meissen Bison

    John Galt: I doubt it will make any significant difference to the statistics though.

    I wish I could be that sanguine. Consider the Maya Forstater case (though unrelated to sex crime in its old-fashioned guise) and the way that a “progressive” justice system seeks to set aside the law and you may wish to see juries more firmly entrenched tha hitherto.

  21. “ It’s interesting that you’re proposing that women should be free to drink without consequences, even if it impairs their judgement. But men should always be responsible for their actions, irrespective. Why?”

    You’re equating ‘being raped’ and ‘raping someone’ there. I could not disagree more profoundly with that kind of logic.

    Drinking is legal. Rape is illegal. People should be able to drink without being raped. People who drink should not rape. Someone who cannot control themselves sufficiently, after drinking, so that they commit a rape, or any other crime, is responsible for their actions in a way that someone who is a victim of a crime, whilst themselves under the ‘auld influence, is not.

    It’s amazing how people will run an argument to defend men who rape. I don’t get it. I’ve never raped anyone.. drunk or not. I’ve never had sex with someone who I had the slightest inkling was not in a fit state to consent. I never would.. how is that fun? Why should I get a pass for doing so because I put myself in a state where I was not capable of making that judgement?

    ‘She was drunk therefore she put herself and risk therefore we should take that into account when judging the actions of the alleged attacker’ is not something a jury should be thinking. It does not preclude them from thinking ‘she acted in a way that gave the alleged attacker a reasonable belief that there was consent, and her state of intoxication may have contributed to that’. Can you see the difference? It’s what people say and do that matters.. and the exact same doings and sayings should be judged the same whether or not there was alcohol.

    If you get hit by a drunk driver when you are on your way home from the pub at 2am, should a jury take your drunkeness into account? Should it matter that if you had been less drunk you might have been able to get out of the way? Should it matter that if you’d stayed home with a mug of cocoa you would not have been hit? Should we give the drunk driver a pass because he was too drunk to know that he was, er, too drunk to drive?

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