Rape Victims Deserve Anonymity. Not rapists.

(Image from here)

I don’t know why we keep having to have this conversation. Anyone with an ounce of common sense and compassion should understand why rape victims deserve anonymity and why men charged with rape, like people charged with any other crime, do not deserve anonymity. But, it’s come up. Again. This time the issue was raised by Maura McGowan, who is chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales. I would have thought that the chairman of the Bar Council might have a passing knowledge of why granting anonymity to defendants in rape cases is wrong but clearly I assumed too much.

So, this is my response. Again.

Rape victims deserve anonymity.

Rapists do not.

Giving rapists anonymity puts more women in danger of rape. 

It is that simple. 

sianushka tweeted these links earlier today: 

All are worth reading. Her blog is here

7 thoughts on “Rape Victims Deserve Anonymity. Not rapists.”

  1. Just a minute, if you are saying that men accused of rape do not deserve anonymity you are assuming that the legal systems makes no mistakes. We all know this is not so. If we like it or not, everyone should be assumed innocent until proven guilty. The press frequently ignores this fundamental principle in the UK. Other countries grant anonymity to victims and defendants until the trial is over and the perpetrator has been convicted, no matter what crime. This I think is a better way. Rape is a terrible crime and I work under the assumption that no woman would ever accuse anyone of rape falsely. However, in some cases, the police and the legal system have accused and taken into custody the wrong person. In those cases, it does not only affect the person accused but everyone associated with them, especially their families. If not for the men’s sake, don’t they deserve the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise?

    1. Yes, I did. But I do not approve of applying utilitarian logic here. Just because publicly naming a person might encourage other victims to speak out does not justify sacrificing even one wrongly accused person. Silence and fear of speaking out need to be tackled, absolutely. But not by throwing someone to the wolves, but by creating a society where no one is above the law and everyone’s voice is heard. I think that anonymity should be granted to every victim and accused no matter what the crime, everything else defies the assumption that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

    2. lets try an empathy exercise. you, your brother, or anyone you care about are raped brutally as a child. you report it. he is found not guilty. nobody in his community ever knows about the accusation, his neighbor, the woman hes been flirting with who also has a child doesn’t know. his parents, his friends, the school he works at, colleagues at the youth organization he volunteers at etc etc. his identity is protected. At trial it s not legally permissable for it to be revealed that he has been accused of rape several times. the conviction rate of reported rapes is around 6%. and we assume that out of the 94% of defendants who walk free- some of them are actually guilty of rape nonetheless ( u decide how many). Remember he has been found not guilty. your rapist, is free to get on with his life, undisturbed, knowing that the statistical chances of him being convicted are very low indeed. also his identity is completely protected, so nobody takes precautions with their children around him- he is free to work in schools etc. do you think its worth sacrificing the bodies of women and children? i have researched cases where one man has been accused of rape by nine different women from across the UK and not once been convicted. the book i read this case in also did not reveal his name. would you feel quite safe in the knowledge that someone in your community had been accused nine times, but owing to the law, he could not be identified? that is the reality of anonymity for defendants. g

    3. if you are interested in getting an insight into rape-from the police to judiciary to victims etc. try by joanna bourke rape a history from 1806 to the present. and perhaps when you see how geared up against the vicitm, they judicial and trial system is you will change your mind, and see that actually, naming suspects is a tool that victims of rape can not afford to loose.

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