Sunday, January 14, 2007

Proposal To Deter Report Of Rape Made in UK

Hat tip to an anonymous commenter identifying herself as Faith for giving me a link to a story about a proposal in the UK to create a database of DNA from women convicted of making a false accusation of rape.

Labour peer and justice campaigner Lord Campbell- Savours said: "Rape trials are
being undermined by serial accusers. This plan would help genuine victims."
Whenever I hear men take actions against women because it will help real rape victims, it sets off a red flag. This is a proposal by and for men which amplifies the stereotype that most women who report being raped are cold-blooded liars. It does nothing to help genuine rape victims. Nothing.

This list would serve as a "Rape These Women And Get Away With It" list.
It follows the ordeal of Warren Blackwell, who was in jail for three years after being wrongly convicted on the word of a woman who turned out to have a history of making false allegations.
I find this worrisome. If a conviction will be reversed solely on the alleged victim's history, there is a chance that real rapists will be set free.

No criminal history magically makes a woman safe from real rape. In fact the less credible she is, the greater the chances will be that some man will rape her with little fear of being charged let alone prosecuted.

This proposal furthers the stereotype that for certain alleged victims there is no need for an actual investigation -- except against these women when they report any crime. This plan is aimed at protecting men from injustice, but there is no effort to protect women from injustice by making sure no women charged with making a false claim of rape are in fact victims of hostile investigators or bias against the alleged rape victim or in favor of the alleged rapist.

"Oh, the town's nicest businessman raped you?" Gets paperwork started to charge her with making a false accusation. "Of course, I'll investigate your case and give it my full attention."

Now if they also advocated for collecting DNA from all men accused of rape and keeping their DNA on file permanently -- including the number of times they were ever accused of rape -- I might give their stated concern for real rape victims a smidgen of credibility. After all, only 6% of reported rapes result in a conviction so clearly many of these men are real rapists.

No woman who accuses a man in that DNA database should be charged with making a false report since his history provides reasonable doubt. If a woman's history is enough to free a man, a man's history must also be enough to free a woman.

The stated purpose of this current proposal is to protect genuine victims so actions which protect all of them -- and not just the male ones -- should be the highest priority to the backers of this proposal. Right?

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:08 PM   0 comments links to this post


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