Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Rape Debate

When Baroness Stern reported on her five month review regarding rape allegations I was moved to wade in with a response but held back to consider further. Having done so, I will now try and give a more measured response. I don't quite see it in the terms that Ellie Bloggs does but nor do I consider myself a chauvinistic ignoramus.

There is no doubt that rape is a very serious offence and has enormous ramifications for and effects upon victims. It is quite right that we treat all rape allegations seriously and proportionate resources are given to the investigation, the victim is treated appropriately and offenders are pursued rigorously. I have no doubt that we have failed to do this in a small number of cases and that more can be done to address this.

It is always difficult to gain convictions as the question of consent is always the issue. The focus on rape appears to be centred around the low conviction rate. I do not accept that we regularly disbelieve those that make rape allegations. I am pleased to hear that more focus is now being placed on how we deal with victims regardless of charging.

If all allegations consisted of a woman walking down the street and a man grabbing her, dragging her into some woods, battering and raping her and she scratches his face, his DNA is recovered from her nails; a conviction is very likely. Likewise, an offender that is a serial date rapist can be caught by using evidence from a number of victims that they met and dated and were raped. Unfortunately most allegations not so straightforward and generally reflect the lack of moral fibre in this country.

I think I can best describe this by outlining the last three rape allegations that have occurred in my area. The last one came from a young woman of 20 who met a 17 year old boy in a pub. They had been drinking and had been acquainted for an hour when they went outside into the pub car park to have consensual sex. The young woman wanted the boy to use a condom but he didn't have one and they had sex without. She then reported the rape. I fully understand that at any point this woman can say no and she was quite sensible insisting that he wore a condom. The problem is that what jury is going to convict a 17 year old boy of rape in these circumstances?

The second case was a University student who got very drunk at a University function and woke up in bed with another student in the morning. She believed that she had had sex with him but could not remember. She reported this two days later. The boy was arrested and claimed consensual sex had taken place. He was by no means a sexual predator and was in fact pretty meek and mild.

The third case was an estranged husband and wife. The husband would come round the house to visit the children and then the couple regularly had a drink and smoked cannabis. They also regularly had sex. On one occasion the woman claimed that she was raped as they had had sex and she had not consented to it on that occasion. The husband was arrested and claimed they had had consensual sex with his wife at least 20 times since he had left the marital home and he had never had sex with her against her will.

None of these cases resulted in a charge. I believe that in every case a thorough and proportionate investigation took place and in every case the woman's allegation was accepted and that she was treated appropriately as a victim. I would ask though, have we really failed any of these women? Should any of these men have been charged with rape in these circumstances? In my experience these types of allegation are the majority and extremely difficult to deal with. We generally do a pretty good job even though a charge has not been preferred.

I am very concerned that there is growing pressure to reduce the standard of proof required to convict more suspects of rape allegations. I hope this does not happen as I believe it will result in wrongful convictions. We need to ensure that we always do our utmost to convict rapists but we need to be careful not to allow the low conviction rate to result in changes to the law that might see innocent people being imprisoned.


  1. I couldn't agree more, especially having had a false allegation of rape made against me.

    I used to live in a block of flats and became friends with several women who shared two flats in the same block. I used to go out with them and, as a non-drinker, became the "designated driver", "drunk lass protective detail" and general "big brother" figure. It wasn't uncommon for my spare bedroom to be used as an extra crash pad when they were joined by friends and they ran out of space in their flats.

    All was well for many months until a woman who was a friend of one of the lasses joined us for a night out. She got really, really pissed—far more so than the women I went out with—so we were quite concerned that she wanted to drive herself home.

    Her car was in front of our block of flats, so with all their beds used up my friends suggested she crash at my place until she was sober. They told her I was safe, but frankly she was too pissed to care.

    They all stopped in at my flat for a while, she went to bed in the spare room, the other women dispersed to their flats and I went to bed in my room. In the morning, I got ready for work, left my guest a note saying where the coffee and breakfast stuff were, and asked her to pull the door shut hard when she left so all three locks would engage. End of story, I thought.

    Three days later, I was arrested at work by four police officers. My guest had made a rape allegation against me. I was given a very, very hard time. Forensics took months to come through. And police focused their efforts on me, not her.

    Fortunately, the women I was friends with stuck by me and, equally fortunately, my solicitor was bloody good. They discovered that the woman making the allegation against me had made at least three previous rape allegations in another area (one of which resulted in a conviction that was overturned on appeal) and had been receiving psychiatric treatment for Histrionic Personality Disorder.

    Despite that, the police continued to favour the victim's story until the forensics for the bedding finally came back, revealing not only that had there been no sex between the woman and myself but that no one had ever had sex on the mattress in the spare room (which was where she claimed the alleged rape took place). There had been no forensic evidence on the woman as she'd complained days after the alleged events.

    Anyway, to add further insulted to injury, the police decided to take no action against the woman who'd made the false allegation because of her "fragile emotional state".

    That was more than 20 years ago, but since then I have never helped another drunken woman and I will never do so again. I've also told also my sons to do the same. If a woman gets drunk and gets into trouble, then it's her own fault and she can live with the consequences—whether it's unwanted sex, car crashes, falling injuries, etc.

    And it's why I'm firmly against any proposal to change the burden of proof in rape cases to achieve some sort of conviction target.

  2. I'm always confused by rape statistics. As I understand it, for a normal crime, e.g. burglary, the government bases the conviction rate on the number of convictions arising from the number of offences charged. However, for rape I am told that they take the conviction rate as the number of convictions arising from the number of offences reported. I haven't done the maths myself, but I understand that if you take rape figures from those charged then the conviction rate is actually higher than that for many other offences.

    The government has already shifted the balance in favour of the prosecution to a huge extent since I began work. Nowadays, bad character can be used (which isn't just previous convictions that could always go in if relevant but also includes allegations, rumours, police intelligence etc); victims are given the right to special measures, which in rape cases often means the playing of the ABE interview as the victims evidence. This usually means that a whole load of inadmissible material ends up before the jury.

    Most rapes in my experience are very difficult to prove one way or the other. Personally I'm always sceptical of the defendant in these cases.

    I don't know the answer. I don't even know if there is one.

  3. Rape activism has, unfortunately, focused almost exclusively on instances that might (cautiously) be termed borderline. Their emphasis on women in these scenarios, combined with wildly inflated claims about percentages of women raped on campuses and elsewhere, have actually damaged public perceptions of victims of rape. In their rush to implicate all men, they are hurting their cause. I blame this on the politics from which much rape activism emerges. Meanwhile, some victims, such as victims of molestation, receive virtually no attention from the activists. Nor do they bother to weigh in on issues like DNA databasing and sentencing -- except, in the U.S. at least, to advocate for adding lesser sentences in order to address "borderline" assaults. It often seems to me that these activists are using rape to advance other political causes, rather than addressing the problem itself.

  4. "The last one came from a young woman of 20 who met a 17 year old boy in a pub. They had been drinking and had been acquainted for an hour when they went outside into the pub car park to have consensual sex. The young woman wanted the boy to use a condom but he didn't have one and they had sex without. She then reported the rape."

    No. She then reported a rape.

    She should have been prosecuted for wasting police time. As should the other two.

    "I believe that in every case a thorough and proportionate investigation took place and in every case the woman's allegation was accepted and that she was treated appropriately as a victim."

    But all three were not 'victims' in any meaningful sense of the word. They had full control over what happened at all times, or in the case of the university student, had willingly surrendered that control.

    To treat them as such, and thereby put them on a par with the stranger rape with threats of violence, is to do every other woman a total disservice.

  5. Tina, I agree with you on rape activism. I'm afraid to say that members of such groups, while well intentioned, misguidedly start from the viewpoint that every woman who says they have been raped, has in fact been raped. I'm not saying that there are hundreds of women out there who go round deliberately making up totally false stories of rape, even though clearly that does happen, but - rightly - if the accused reasonably believes that the woman consented, and he can show that reasonable belief, he is entitled to be acquitted, and according to the legislation a rape has not taken place.

  6. Rape accusation is a form of social control women exercise over men, and use the Police and Judiciary system as "thugs".

    The legal system, in fact the whole political system, has demonized and criminalized being male. Rape accusations are so common, my 16 year old daughter uses the idea of charging someone as a legitimate means to exact revenge.

    I, of course, am HORRIFIED by this, but the ex wife has no problem with the concept at all.

    As a result, myself and more and more men daily have completely sworn off ANY sexual contact with women, indeed any contact that is even POSSIBLY construed as sexual in nature.

    This is what Feminist Jurisprudence has wrought.

    Frankly, if I had the cash I'd leave for Asia or Africa, and the whole lot of Leftist Totalitarians can have their society...and I will watch it burn from the vantage of a safe space for men.

  7. Try this spot:

  8. Is it not about time that women who falsly accuse rape , are given the same sentance that her victim would have got if he had been convicted ?
    Rape is an evil crime , but falsley acusing a man of rape is never justified

  9. I used to believe all the statistics out there:

    1/4 women are victim of an attempted sexual assault or sexual assault in there lifetime...

    2% of rape claims are false...

    1/4 women are victims of domestic violence in there lifetime(seems to be reocurring doesn't it?)...

    1/10 women are victims of domestic violence every year...

    That is until almost a year ago now I got back from Iraq and took a girl home from a nightclub. She was late to work and drunk to boot so exactly 15 minutes after she should have been to work(I was a soldier so was she) she looked me right in the face and said, "you raped me". I was taken to the mp station, 8 hours later when I sobered up I was questioned by CID. Then I did the smartest thing I ever did in my short life, I said I better talk to an attorney. I was taken off vacation told to show up at work the next day. I had a rape kit performed, they took all my clothes(I still haven't gotten them back and its been almost a year, though if I did I would likely burn them) and went through 4 months of hell.

    I should have been out of the military within a month since I was stop-lossed(means they stop you from leaving because they need people for the deployment). Finally one day I get told she recanted I got called into my lawyers office. He read her statement and it literally said, "I didn't think it was going to be a big deal"... Well I am in college now and I can tell you this.

    Like Factory said, I won't even approach a woman for anything sexual. If I saw a car accident and a woman was lying there bleeding I would call 911. Even though through all my training I could probably save her life I don't want to deal with a false accusation again. Believe it or not I read two occasions in the US in the past 2 years where a man responding to a woman in distress in said scenario was accused. Of course half a year ish later they deem it to be false or a "mistaken case".

    From what I read this shit happens all the time, even more so when I started doing research into it as a criminal justice major. It is truly horrible that gender equality has come to this. If you don't believe the state of affairs read this its from the false rape society:

    "My company was contacted by a high school senior -- a girl -- who is working on a project. She asked if she could interview a particular middle-aged man who works for me, who is an expert in the field she's writing about. My immediate reaction was that if this interview was to occur face-to-face, for my employee's own protection, he would need a witness, preferably a female employee of the company. My female assistant agreed with me, and another woman who works for us volunteered to sit in. When we told the employee about the girl's request, he was squeamish about meeting her at all and suggested a phone interview so that, he said, 'no one can accuse me of anything.' I should add that this man is a perfectly well-adjusted father who has raised a fine son, and that he has a stellar track record of community service. He is a long-time elder in his church, and has never been accused of anything, that I know of.

    "Of course, the sole reason we were all concerned about his being falsely accused was because he is male. We would not have had this concern if he was a she.

    "Only later did it dawn upon me how unfair it is that good men must slink through life concerned about being falsely accused. Isn't it sad that everyone in my office had the same reaction? And isn't it even more sad that we didn't think there was anything unusual about that reaction? It's become standard operating procedure."

    That is how far we have fallen.

  10. @Anonymous

    As this short video about rape statistics demonstrates, most rape allegations are false.

  11. Where is the false rape accuser's register?
    Published and updated regularly. If I had the money I would compile and publish it myself, along with the names of companies(usually corporations-and I am a capitalist) with clear misandric policies and advertising.

  12. And the end result of this - making men hate and loathe women - is that the very men who now race to protect them will treat them *real* rape, *real* abuse, *real* discrimination, and will use them just as they constantly shriek that we do. The western world will become Africa, where real womens lib can be seen and where women do 80% of the work (no glass ceilings there ladies!) and are constantly preyed upon by males with no stake in preserving anything female. The women are cattle - but at least they don't constantly bitch about it. If men were half as evil as women claim there would be no public vilification or judicial horror stories against men - there would just be silence except for the occasional brutal attack. Women have the ability to constantly stay furious because the cocoon men have provided always them this luxury. Too bad they are killing their host. Nature is not kind to weakness - they'll see this soon.

  13. Good Post....Interesting Comments!