• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

Rape crisis group calls for reforms


KingKane

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,335
Website
www.danielsullivan.ie
Twitter
kingkane
The Rape Crisis Network has said that radical reform of the criminal justice system is needed to ensure more sex offenders are punished for their crimes

extracts from ireland.com

With only 1 per cent of rapes and attacks resulting in convictions, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland called for laws to be updated and a statutory definition of consent to be introduced.

Fiona Neary, RCNI executive director, said Ireland should be ashamed of its poor record of protecting rape victims and punishing perpetrators.

"The Irish criminal justice system has found it notoriously difficult to deliver justice for victims of sexual violence. This absence of justice must be tackled with every urgency," she said.

"We call on all responsible, the gardaí, the prosecutors, the judiciary and the legislature to act now to overcome Ireland's shameful record in failing survivors of sexual violence in our society and failure to prevent further crimes of sexual violence."

Amongst the items called for are a statutory definition of consent, removal of the requirement for the DPP to consent to the prosecution of a marital rape, complete review of the Punishment of Incest Act 1908 and reform of complainant/defendant anonymity provisions.

The issue of consent hit the headlines after a rape trial involving a Co Donegal student collapsed last week at a Welsh court.

Lawyers for the accused argued that the woman consented and the trial at Swansea Crown Court collapsed after the woman admitted under cross-examination she could not be sure she had not consented because she was too drunk to remember.

Some of the items should be straightforward to achieve, however, I wonder if a legal definition of consent is that straightforward or indeed what use it would have been in the case cited as the woman involved said she couldn't remember.
 

agora

Active member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
106
Website
www.doonesbury.com
While rape is of course a terrible thing, we should be very careful before we start going down the road of making consent more loosely defined so as to make any defence impossible in the face of a "victim's" word. To do so would be to damage the principle of being innocent until proven guilty. Where drink is involved it's often very hard to say who was at fault, and it would be wrong to assume that it's always a case of a violent and manipulative male getting an innocent female drunk and then raping her.

What would seem to have happened in this case (reading the papers on it anyway) is that both parties were plastered, they got intimate, one thing led to another and they ended up having sex. Now, the fact that the girl may have bitterly regretted the incident afterwards does not make it rape. If the guy honestly believed at the time that she was giving consent, or if they were both so locked as to make deliberate force on either party's part impossible to ascertain, then it would be unjust to convict him of rape.
 

Quant

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
14
both parties were plastered, they got intimate, one thing led to another and they ended up having sex
I thought he was sober, and was taking her home? He'd been working so hadn't drank anything.
 

agora

Active member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
106
Website
www.doonesbury.com
Quant said:
both parties were plastered, they got intimate, one thing led to another and they ended up having sex
I thought he was sober, and was taking her home? He'd been working so hadn't drank anything.
The article I read wasn't clear on that point. In any case, if he honestly believed that she was giving consent, it comes to the same thing.
 

commentator

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
51
Every civilisation has a variety of legal and extra legal rules and conventions govenning carnal access to women. Ours is no different but now that we are faced with behaviour traditionally seen as masculine in women - boozing and drugging to excess, actively seeking sex etc etc etc - we are faced with difficult choices in whether or not the rules have to be changed

Sorry to be crude but if drink makes men think with their d!cks then it equally makes women think with their cl!ts and whether we are to allow them revoke consent once another bodily organ (the brain) retakes control, is moot.
 

hiker

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
1,961
Thats a scary story pippycoats and fair play to your friend for going ahead with the trial. Her bravery is exceptional.

The role of the judiciary is crucial in these cases and I have always felt that some judges might be a bit old-fashioned in their veiws on behaviour of women in modern society and that this feeds into the possable hostility that women feel in Irish courts with regards to rape cases.

I personally hold rape up there with murder but thats just a my opinion. Its difficult to say wether heavier sentances would make a difference to mens behaviour towards women or wether more convictions would make more women come forward but if the current way is not working then a change should be tried even if all the consequences of that change are not fully worked out.

Trial and error(forgive the pun) are not the best way to test new sentancing or judicial procedures but paralysis by analisys is worse.
 

KingKane

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,335
Website
www.danielsullivan.ie
Twitter
kingkane
Part of the difficult with the case last week was that impact of it being thrown out may mean that more women who have been attacked may not proceed with their cases. Part of the reason questions have been asked is that if the woman in the case gave the same answers to the CPS then how did the case come to trial as it should have been apparent that the issue of consent could not be resolved at all in this case.

My own suspicion is that the woman involved was not in a position to consent,. However, too much of our culture rewards the sexually agressive male even in consensual sex. While that continues to be the case, sexually agressive men will continue to presume that sex is there for the taking unless kneed in the balls.

There are a lot of things that can be done on the legal side, but most of the effort has to be longer termn on the preventative side and that means proper sex / relationship education for both sexes.
 

agora

Active member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
106
Website
www.doonesbury.com
As this is such a sensitive issue for both the victim and the accused, the emphasis should be on protecting the innocent as much as possible. In some cases this is the plaintiff, in others it may very well be the defendant. Accusing someone of rape is a very serious matter and one which could ruin a persons life. That's fine if things are clear cut and the guy is guilty, he deserves to suffer. However, if things are more confused and it is reasonable to conclude that the defendant at least thought that the plaintiff was giving consent, then that's a different matter altogether. Certainly a less aggressive style of cross-examination and better education of conservative judges ("She went out in a mini-skirt, of course she was looking for sex!") would be welcomed, but the presumption of innocence must be maintained, which unfortunately can sometimes mean a victim has to face some tough questions.
 

KingKane

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,335
Website
www.danielsullivan.ie
Twitter
kingkane
I wonder if part of the problem is that the court attempts to establish whether or not in the lead up to act itself an impression or presumption of consent was created.

Perhaps, it should be ditched much like in the manner of previous sexual history is no longer routinely allowed unless it is directly relevant to the case, i.e. it involved both parties. Or elements of roleplay etc. That is not to same that it doesn't crop up, it does, just not as much as it did.

In certain sexual activities there are code words to ensure that nothing gets out of hand. Perhaps, we need to revisit the basic elements of human interaction. Lads, women enjoy sex and when they are interested they will let you know, in the absence of any indication just presume they are not interested. It makes life much more straightforward.

Personally, I prefer to err on the side of extreme caution, not so much to protect myself but I would be very upset to think that I'd read any possible signals incorrectly and had thus hurt someone whether they were someone I cared about, just liked, or didn't even know.

And a more representative judiciary would be good too. Though it would not be cure all. A 7/5 8/4 mix with the 7/8 female is the one that acquicts most often in rapes.
 

commentator

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
51
Your presumption that women will "let you know" they are interested in sex is naive Kingkane. Women, when sober, are usually too scared of rejection to make the initiative and the truth of male female relations is the men do it. Women, when drunk, begin to lose inhibition and do as they wouoldn't when sober. Therein lies some of the trouble.

We are not going to have a situation where men wait for women to give permission to chance their arms otherwise we simply won't have the sexual game played at all.
 

KingKane

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
2,335
Website
www.danielsullivan.ie
Twitter
kingkane
commentator said:
Your presumption that women will "let you know" they are interested in sex is naive Kingkane. Women, when sober, are usually too scared of rejection to make the initiative and the truth of male female relations is the men do it. Women, when drunk, begin to lose inhibition and do as they wouoldn't when sober. Therein lies some of the trouble.

We are not going to have a situation where men wait for women to give permission to chance their arms otherwise we simply won't have the sexual game played at all.
No one is suggesting permission for chancing your arm. However, chancing your arm is the lead up not the act. When it comes to sex itself you are not chancing your arm, you are forcing your hand and if you can't tell the difference then better to do neither.

I would also state that women and girls have quite different outlooks on sex. Believe me women know what they want, girls and indeed boys (and there are those closing on 30 who are girls and boys not women or men) on the other hand are all over the place. Face it, some people are not very mature. We have an age of consent that is realisitcally plucked out of the age and appears to bear no correlation to competence to make such a decision. Sex is and should be, fun and enjoyable, but it is a serious too. Kind of like driving.
 

laughingcow

New member
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
3
pippygoats said:
I know many girls that have decided not to report or if they do report, not to go through the process because they feel they are living through it again and again and again. I know others that have had abortions because of rape and feel ashamed and a sense of double stigma. Their sense of self worth and confidence takes years to restore, if it ever is. They live with these consequence everyday and often without the knowledge or support of their close family members or friends. They feel afraid to confide in them and fearful that they will be judged. My friend decided to tell only a few people close to her. She had the experience of explaining to work that she needed time off for the court case and thereafter felt that they looked different upon her, that she was a victim and that they treated her like a victim for ever and a day. Other friends have had difficulty in having intimate relationships with their partners and feel that if they tell them why that they will look differently upon them.


Last week two guys attacked me. I managed to get away and they chased me for some time.


Pippygoats, you are either a complete fantasist or have a very loose definition of the word 'friends'. I for one don't believe a word of what you are saying and think that your contribution to this topic has belittled a very serios topic. How about returning to reality?
 
Top