To think that people accused of rape should be given anonymity until proven guilty?

(269 Posts)
DaleyBump Sun 15-Sep-13 18:41:41

Controversial.

I don't mean to start a bunfight, honest! Am I the only one that thinks that people accused of rape should be given the same anonymity as the rape victims until they've been proven guilty? By all means, once they've been found guilty, feed them to the dogs but being accused of rape publicly and then being found not guilty still has a major effect on someone's life.

I'm not saying rape victims should be outed at any point, by the way.

DaleyBump Sun 15-Sep-13 18:42:04

<ties self in knots trying not to offend anyone>

LackingEnergy Sun 15-Sep-13 18:50:48

YANBU at all, unless proven guilty they shouldn't be named.

Would anyone like to be accused, go through hell publicly, get found innocent and still have that associated with your name? It will seriously affect that person a 'friend' at uni cried rape when her ex left her, he did no such thing and she admitted as much but she wanted to get back at him

whatastar Sun 15-Sep-13 18:52:50

totally agree , name and shame them IF they are found guilty .

DaleyBump Sun 15-Sep-13 18:53:37

Exactly. I say this as someone who was sexually assaulted too, so I do understand to an extent what rape victims have to go through.

MaidOfStars Sun 15-Sep-13 18:54:05

You are being entirely reasonable. The only exception might be where the police/etc genuinely think there could be other victims, and that revealing names might encourage others to come forward. And the only crime that applies to is rape, where numbers genuinely do count. I don't see why ANY accused person is named before conviction?

MinnieBar Sun 15-Sep-13 18:55:05

YABU. Operation Yewtree is a prime example of why other victims come forward - they know it's not just them, it's not just their word against the accused, etc.

SGM and Glosswitch have blogged much more eloquently on this…

Yanbu, but MaidOfStars raises a very good point.

DaleyBump Sun 15-Sep-13 18:57:51

I never thought of that MaidOfStars. Interesting point.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 18:58:14

Of course YANBU. Victims and the accused should both get anonymity. I say this as somebody who knows of a young man who was accused of rape many years ago by an ex girlfriend. The shame was too much when it came out; it later transpired she was lying. It was too late - he wound up hanging himself. He was a gentle, sensitive soul, basically a nice lad who got caught up with the wrong girl.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 19:01:09

YABVVVU because naming the accused is the very thing that will bring other victims of serial offenders forward. These corroborative reports are often the only thing that stops a case being 'one person's word against another's' and are hugely important in bringing an offender to justice.

LackingEnergy Sun 15-Sep-13 19:02:18

MaidOf Surely they could find the potential rapist guilty beyond reasonable doubt through the evidence alone before looking for other victims. Then bring the whole case together?

I would be very pissed off if I was accused of multiple rapes all over tv when it was a series of unfortunate coincidences that led me to be in the same places/talking to the victims/look vaguely similar in a dark room etc.

But then I also think people who have been jailed but were then found innocent (either through going over the evidence again, new evidence, advances in forensics and what not) should be heavily compensated.

McNewPants2013 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:02:36

Like the LeVell case, he was found not guilty but I know a fair few people that said they don't trust the judgement. I hope that hasn't derailed this thread ( because I think this is a good topic to discuss)

Mud sticks and the men's life will forever have this hanging over them.

RandomMess Sun 15-Sep-13 19:02:40

What Sabrina says, horrible but true.

needaholidaynow Sun 15-Sep-13 19:03:01

YANBU at all

Bowlersarm Sun 15-Sep-13 19:03:58

YANBU. Rightly or wrongly rape trials seem to be weighted against the accused.

RandomMess Sun 15-Sep-13 19:04:47

I found it very interesting that no-one else came forward against LeVell, in itself that is perhaps quite telling?

SubliminalMassaging Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:45

Yes they should.

PoppadomPreach Sun 15-Sep-13 19:09:54

I take the point re bringing out more potential victims if accused rapist is named, but that only works if rapist is guilty (and a serial offender). By doing this we are saying its ok that an innocent man have his life turned upside down because in another case it may bring forward more victims. That doesn't sit well with me.

On another note, I wish the papers drew as much attention to cases where rapist is convicted as they do to cases where a woman is accused of making false rape claims.

RandomMess Sun 15-Sep-13 19:11:53

TBH it's a no-win situation sad

If my abuser was accused by someone else I would come forward but until then, no way.

FloraFox Sun 15-Sep-13 19:27:40

What sabrina says is incredibly important. Where the evidence is one person's word against another, it is incredibly difficult to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt and rapists walk free as a result. Where more than one victim comes forward and their accounts show similarities, this can provide corroboration that improves the conviction rate. Given the very poor conviction rates for rape and sexual assault, it is very important not to make things even harder.

All other persons accused of crimes are named, except in very limited siuations to protect the victims. This is a very important aspect of open justice to ensure that court processes are unbiased. Secret courts are a great danger to the integrity of the justice system and present opportunities for miscarriages of justice to be swept under the carpet.

This argument about anonymity is just another example of MRAs stamping their feet because of the perceived unfairness that the victim is anonymous but the accused is not. Anonymity was introduced to encourage women to come forward and achieve justice in the face of woman-hating, victim-blaming press and society. If the accused person is found "not guilty" that doesn't mean the woman is lying. If the woman is charged with making a false allegation, her name will be publicised in that proceeding.

DulcetMoans Sun 15-Sep-13 19:28:18

YANBU. I agree - the risk of ruining people's lives through a claim like this is very real and with the drive for 24hr news things can so quickly get out of hand. Celeb or not, they can end up front page news.

I realise its not a rape case but I remember the Joanna Yates landlord who was wrongly accused of her murder. He was in the paper for days and everyone wanted to hang him and he had definitely done it because he 'looked a bit weird' and then it turns out he was completely innocent but his live is now never going to be the same.

maddy68 Sun 15-Sep-13 19:29:54

I totally agree. People's lives have been ruined through false allergations

bamboostalks Sun 15-Sep-13 19:32:59

Well why anonymity in rape cases but not for those accused of murder? Is that a "nicer" false accusation hanging over one's head. Essentially, 6% of rape trials end in a successful prosecution so I think that's where we need to focus our worries, there aren't 94% false accusations out there are they?

BackforGood Sun 15-Sep-13 19:34:19

What Maidof said. I would argue that they shouldn't be identified until - or obviously if they are found guilty, but that the Police should have the opportunity to go to a judge to have that right to anonymity removed where they feel it could be the case that there are many more victims of the person, who might come forward if the person's identity is revealed. It's would still be absolutely awful if they weren't guilty, but at least there would have to be enough evidence to convince a court that it were in the public's best interests.

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