Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another broken promise

The Coagulation when they came to power had made certain promises one of which was to give those accused of rape the same anonymity as the accuser until convicted. Rape itself is a horrific crime and those who are found guilty of it should have the most severe of sentences handed down to them, however the stigma of being simply accused of being a rapist has driven innocent men to suicide, wrecked lives, wrecked relationships, cost jobs and left men in a position of social stigma under the "there's no smoke without fire" type of reaction that passes for thinking amongst certain people.

Julia at Ambush Predator has a whole series of stories about false accusations and the often pitiful sentences handed down to those who falsely accuse men, a seemingly not as rare as they'd like you to believe accusation still called by the police as extremely rare.

CRITICS last night attacked the Government after ministers backed down on a key pledge to give anonymity to those accused of rape.
Announcing the U-turn, Justice Minister Crispin Blunt told MPs there was insufficient evidence to justify giving the protection to those accused and on trial for serious sex attacks.
The move drew praise from women’s rights groups, but it also re-ignited fears that dropping the pledge would lead to more men being tarnished by faked allegations.
Former MP Neil Hamilton, who was falsely accused of rape nearly a decade ago along with his wife Christine, said: “If the victim has a right to anonymity the alleged perpetrator should be entitled to it until conviction.”
In 2003 Nadine Milroy-Sloan was jailed for three years after telling police the Hamiltons had raped her.
Yesterday Mr Hamilton warned: “Not having anonymity for the accused makes it easy for the unscrupulous to abuse the system at the expense of the victim. That’s not justice.
“Even though Christine and I knew we were innocent, we went through a lot of stress and indignity. We were facing seven years in jail.”
In May the Coalition Government said: “We will extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants.”
You'd think it would be simple enough, I really don't see why the women’s rights groups are up in arms about it, it's not likely to deter women from reporting rape as far as I can see. Or could it just be that they hate men so much that they even want the innocent to suffer along with the guilty?
But after criticism from Labour and women’s rights groups it became clear the plans were unworkable.
Last night, Shadow Justice Minister Helen Goodman said: “We welcome this U-turn.”
Unworkable how? If the victim is allowed anonymity, so should the accused, if he's innocent then he's the victim and it can and has lead to horrendous suffering for the guy involved, with the false accuser just given a slap on the wrist and left to go on her way.

If politicians want people to trust them, keeping your promises is a good way to go about it!

2 annotations:

BG! said...

I don't agree that it's unworkable - it's just that they don't want to put in the effort.

Just one more thing - not all rapists are male, not all victims are female. A lot of folks forget (or choose to ignore) that.

English Pensioner said...

I can believe your view
"could it just be that they hate men so much that they even want the innocent to suffer along with the guilty?".
Some years ago, I served on a jury. A male was accused of mugging and killing a woman in a pedestrian underpass. A female on the jury, clearly a fully paid up member of women's Lib didn't seem to be the slightest bit interested as to whether the accused was responsible, but took the attitude that "a woman had been killed, a man (by her definition) must have been responsible, and that the one in the box was as good as any to send down".
I didn't believe there were women like that, but she proved me wrong.