What is to be done to improve prosecution for rape?Which assumes that there’s something that does, indeed, need to ‘be done’.
First we heard that the coalition had plans, later discontinued, to grant anonymity for those accused of rape; then, last month, that the scheduled government review into how the police handle rape cases had been scrapped. It seems we are going backwards in terms of finding an effective way to deal with rape…We have an effective way - prison for the convicted offender.
One review of the rate of attrition in reported rape cases, published by the Home Office in 2005, scrutinised 677 rape allegations made over a period of two months in the same year. It found that the vast majority of complainants – 87% – had at least one additional factor of so-called vulnerability, such as being a child under the age of 18; suffering from mental ill health; intoxicated at the time of the alleged attack; or in an abusive relationship with the accused.All of which, as pointed out to her many, many times by the commenters, help to blur the ‘consent’ angle. And it’s not clear that there’s anything that could change that, given that consent is usually the disputed factor.
The CPS will only take a case to court if it has a "reasonable chance of conviction", which means that those cases involving complicated factors, such as a previous sexual history between the complainant and suspect, often do not even get an airing.And yet, the CPS still takes cases like this one to court. Explain that, Bindel, if you can…
Despite massive reforms there still exists a culture within the police that assumes that women who report rape are lying.Well, that’s because some of them are. That’s why we need to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that an offence has actually occurred.
The police service is the only public body that is exempt from being sued in the civil court for negligence. In a recent House of Lords case, the late Lord Bingham was outvoted by four other judges in considering whether the police should no longer be immune from being held accountable in this way. Nothing will significantly change unless the commissioner or chief constable ceases to have this unjustifiable protection from the courts. If the police budget were to become vulnerable to compensation claims, it might result in systems being put into place to root out incompetence and prejudicial attitudes towards vulnerable complainants.So the key to ensuring more alleged rape cases result in a conviction is to allow every ambulance-chasing lawyer and pressure group to further denude the police of vital resources defending themselves in frivolous court cases?
I can’t quite see it, somehow….
Perhaps one way to deter would-be rapists is to make the punishment, on conviction a mandatory 15 years imprisonment (rising in increments according to circumstances, such as a child, mentally-ill adult etc) ..
15 years to mean 15 years .. to the day, no remission for "good behaviour" etc ..
Along with a penalty of 10 years imprisonment, on conviction for making a false allegation of rape ..
Again to mean 10 years to the day ..
Where a genuine allegation of rape has been made, the facts of which can be substantiated, there should be no possible excuse for a less than full and rigorous investigation ..
All it takes is the application of a little basic common sense, its hardly rocket science ..
What is to be done to improve prosecution for rape?
The use of the word improve is strange and rather vague - improve for whom? What constitutes an improvement? An increase in the number of successful prosecutions (regardless of proof) might be regarded as an improvement by some, but not by others. Anonymity for the accused would be regarded as an improvement by some, but not by others.
btw Julia, you have been 'moderated' over your comment in the Gurdian. Clearly Julie doesn't like you very much?!? I'd just love to get Julie to listen to my experience for a few minutes because it seems to me at least far to easy for a woman to make this kind of complaint for all the wrong reasons and set all sorts of wheels, without justification, in motion, and too often they do.
on the other hand if Julie and the like are succesful in draging every man accused regardless of evidence into court we might find out quite how many women realy are prepared to lie about this because I'm quite sure there are many more than we think and in fact some who even openly joke about it. I have never heard a man joking about raping a woman although I'm sure a few, very few, do.
Women routinely behave irresponsibly, dress and act provocatively and place themselves in all sorts of ludicrously exposed positions. And yes men, actually usually young men try it on grabbing and groping. You only have to stand sober in a city centre club to see the free for all by both sexes. But should women in these situations realy complain? It rarely goes any further than flashing boobs n arse and a bloke who does cross the line is often given a good slap or thrown out by bouncers. This isn't the wholesale rape of women, its people acting like idiots.
I honestly believe there are so very few predatory male rapists, I think the most vulnerable and likely victims are sex workers who have this amongst all sorts of problems to contend with.
We have to address the difference between men who set out to target women and children as part of some vile behaviour based in an assault not sex and the idiotic behaviour of youths who I believe are equally to blame for unattractive high jinks that brings shame on all involved but has nothing to do with rape. It really is quite simple for women who don't want this attention, don't get stupidly drunk, in a club or busy city street at night, don't get yer tits out for the lads because drunk boys will be boys.
We run the risk of criminalising a plethora of men for something they are not when the real focus should be trying to clean up both male and female attitudes towards going out at the weekend on the lash. Focusing on hunting down and stopping the minority of sickos who prey on women and children.
I'd be worried sick if I had a daughter at university but also a son because we see how absolutely out of control they both are. Add in the factor that this witch hunt could easily ruin a mans life before he became a man and the story just goes from bad to worse.
I wonder whether the best idea would be to abolish rape as a charge. Maybe we just aren't tough enough on violence and threats generally?
Maybe the answer is to ban going out on the piss and pull?
Workers in SAFE Centres say booze is the general problem - in the sense victims are full of it.
We can now be guilty of all kinds of stuff whilst so pissed we don't know what we are doing.
Woman pissed therefore no consent possible, man pissed therefore his evidence unreliable but he can form mens rea?
Looks to me like a lot of all this might be better dealt with in special courts with different attitudes towards persistent
"All it takes is the application of a little basic common sense, its hardly rocket science .."
Sadly, common sense appears to have been junked in favour of politically-driven 'initiatives'...
The use of the word improve is strange and rather vague - improve for whom? ""
Indeed. 'Improvement' for Julie and her ilk would, I suspect, make the world a very odd and sinister place indeed..
"btw Julia, you have been 'moderated' over your comment in the Gurdian."
I'm used to that by now. I am always very careful never to break any of their rules too :(
"...because I'm quite sure there are many more than we think and in fact some who even openly joke about it."
I've no doubt the percentage is a lot higher than anyone will publicly admit to. It'd be a career-ender, for sure.
"This isn't the wholesale rape of women, its people acting like idiots."
"Looks to me like a lot of all this might be better dealt with in special courts with different attitudes towards persistent
Unfortunately, any kind of 'special' court for sexual assault would, I'm sure, then give rise to demands for 'special' courts for everything else too!
I'm glad this hasn't turned into a diatribe on feminists or women for that matter because when discussing these things it often does.
Abolishing the charge/crime of rape isn't an option. There are some sikos out there who do attack women, children and men, and it is rape. My point is that I can't believe the law and beliefs are being applied proportionately to the magnitude of the problem.
People are bieng led up the path that branded all Muslims as terrorists when rape is discussed in terms that Julie B does.
You'd think that the police, CPS and educated spokes people would distinguish the difference in this serious subject but it appears that it only takes a few well placed people, probably with quite personal beliefs grounded in some horrific experience to have us all wondering around like chicken licken.
It would take a massive shift of general acceptance of personal responsibility to stop the young woman who wakes up, knickers around her ankles in a bed with a complete stranger who equally is thinking WTF to not be so easily persuaded that she has been raped when the truth of the matter is they're probably just as guilty of spending the night being as idiotic as each other and no crime has been committed at all.
Most of the real rapes I saw Anon could have been charged as aggravated burglary or assaults.
We are conflating serious sexual offenders with date rape and drunken misunderstandings.
The Dutch have special courts that are very effective.
False complaints are a massive problem across the CJS.
I've seen many other areas where claims have been made about only the tip of the iceberg being reported where all turned to nonsense on examination.
Where is the real research on rape? It's not that long since loony feminists were claiming women never made false complaints, or mad perverts were telling us children don't lie and there was massive ritual abuse going on.
I tend to think if we had better investigations, there might be fewer convictions. The real issue here, as elsewhere, has to do with spotting the cases where complainants are telling the truth. Cops are crap at this, as is the CJS generally.
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