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  1. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/may/31/uk-investigators-told-to-stop-mass-collection-of-personal-data-in-rape-cases Police and prosecutors have been told to stop the mass collection of personal information from rape victims or face being fined by the UK’s data watchdog. I'm uncomfortable with these so called "digital strip searches" although after the Liam Allan case I understand why they happen. I can see why, for example, a rape victim who is also a drug user might fear handing over their phone in case evidence on it of their drug use is later used against them. How do you reassure victims about stuff like that?
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/feb/25/victims-systematically-failed-in-england-and-wales-report-finds Joint inspection by two government watchdogs identifies multiple failings in police and criminal justice system Only 1.3% of reported rapes being charged seems awful. But if its usually one word against another with no witnesses, and assuming we keep the principle of the prosecution having to prove someones guilt beyond reasonable doubt, what if anything can actually be done? Also wondered about this bit "It also suggested the police and the CPS should work together to ensure that a defendant’s “bad character” is considered in all rape cases following anecdotal evidence that prosecutors and investigators missed opportunities to present such evidence before the courts". I thought stuff like that wasn't brought up during the trial to ensure the jury won't be prejudiced against a defendant who has been in trouble in the past?
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-35495383
  4. It was just after 8am on 6 November 2014 when Faiza Hassan Ahmed knocked on her neighbour’s door. Violet Nantayiro did not know her, but Faiza was obviously distressed. She let her in and tried to comfort her. Faiza said a man had attempted to rape her, and asked Nantayiro if she would ring the police on her behalf. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/06/faiza-ahmed-cries-for-help-missed-every-authority-simon-hattenstone?CMP=fb_gu Interesting article about the failings of London Ambulance Service, the Metropolitan Police and Department of Work and Pensions (not my criticism, this was the conclusion from the coroner), but also a 'there but the grace of god go I' type of cautionary tale - I'm sure we have all attended jobs which haven't quite got to the tipping point to the next level of action or we've done the opposite and gone above and beyond 'just in case'. Again, cross agency communication seems to be an issue, but then the HRA Article 8 also plays a part. "You do not have to make a decision, but it may harm your defence if you do not have a crystal ball with you when questioned about something you later rely on in court. Anything you decide may be given in evidence..."
  5. source Ridiculously lenient sentence there for what she did. People like her making these allegations ruin lives.
  6. A new BBC documentary which features an audience vote as to whether a woman was raped or not has sparked anger, as it is claimed it could upset viewers. But the BBC insists the documentary, called ‘Is This Rape? Sex On Trial’, is not merely a gimmick and is designed to raise important questions about consent. Full Story - Daily Mail The DM are claiming people are " angered" by this show, I will decide if I am " angered" after watching the show , however my initial thoughts are surely if it resolves confusion about what constitutes consent that is a good thing? Don't know what the DM are getting angry about?
  7. A policeman has been found guilty of gross misconduct for making an “appalling” comment about rape as he led a Taser training course. Full Story - Birmingham Mail
  8. Swedish prosecutors will drop their investigation into sexual assault allegations against Julian Assange on Thursday because of the statutes of limitation, the BBC has learned. The Wikileaks founder still faces the more serious allegation of rape. But prosecutors have run out of time to investigate Mr Assange for sexual assault because they have not succeeded in questioning him. He denies all allegations and has said they are part of a smear campaign. The Australian journalist and activist sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Time limit Under Swedish law, charges cannot be laid without interviewing the suspect. Prosecutors had until 13 August to question Mr Assange about one accusation of sexual molestation and one of unlawful coercion, while the time limit on a further allegation of sexual molestation runs out on 18 August. The more serious allegation of rape is not due to expire until 2020. An official announcement from the prosecutor's office is expected on Thursday morning. Mr Assange has always denied all the accusations and says he fled into the Ecuadorian embassy because he fears being extradited from Sweden to the US and put on trial for releasing secret American documents. He has said in the past that he will not leave the embassy, even if the accusations of sex crimes are dropped. The woman who accused Mr Assange of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion - who is identified in legal papers only as AA - is said to be relieved that the case is now behind her. "She had wanted him to stand before the court and answer the accusations but it's five years ago and she's not interested in going to court now," her lawyer, Claes Borgstrom, told the BBC. "She wants to put it all behind her. It's been a difficult time for her and she's now trying to forget about it and move on with her life." Swedish prosecutors had initially insisted that Mr Assange be questioned in Sweden, but earlier this year - under pressure to advance the investigation - she agreed that he could be interviewed in London. But the Swedish government has been unable to negotiate access with the Ecuadorian authorities, with both sides blaming the other for the impasse. 'Difficult and costly' Lawyers for Mr Assange say the allegations of sexual assault should have been dropped long ago. "Our position is that the investigation should have been shut down earlier because there wasn't enough evidence to keep it going," Thomas Olsson, one of his Swedish lawyers, told the BBC. "It's regrettable that it's gone on for this long." He said he believed Mr Assange could clear his name over the rape allegation. "We are convinced that as soon as he has the opportunity to give his version of the circumstances, there'll be no need to continue the investigation." Sweden is expected to continue discussions with Ecuador over the terms under which the prosecutor could question Mr Assange over the remaining accusation. The UK government has urged Ecuador to co-operate, stressing that the UK has a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange. "We are clear that our laws must be followed and Mr Assange should be extradited," a UK Foreign Office spokeswoman said. "As ever, we look to Ecuador to help bring this difficult, and costly, situation to an end." The cost of policing the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge for the past three years now stands at around £12m ($18.8m; €16.8m). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33894757
  9. Fury over Sussex police anti-rape poster as campaigners claim the message suggests 'women are responsible' for becoming victims Sussex Police poster features two young women taking a selfie The message urges female friends to 'stick together' on a night out Campaigners say police should be targeting potential rapists instead But police say they have an obligation to urge women to minimise risks A police force has been slammed by anti-rape groups for publishing a poster which appears to blame women for allowing their friends to be attacked on nights out. Campaigners have criticised the 'irresponsible' message in the Sussex Police poster arguing it implies that victims are to blame for getting raped. But police argue the poster was part of a wider campaign and that they would be failing in their duty if they did not urge potential victims to take steps to minimise risks. Anti-rape campaigners have criticised the message in this Sussex Police poster arguing it implies that victims are to blame for getting raped The poster features a picture of two young women taking a selfie and urges females to stick together to avoid sexual assault. The text reads: 'Which of your mates is most vulnerable on a night out? The one you leave behind. 'Many sexual assaults could be prevented. Stick together and don't let your friend leave with a stranger or go off on their own.' But campaigners have slammed the message saying the police should be targeting potential rapists instead of suggesting women are to blame in some rape cases. Sarah Green, acting director of The End Violence Against Women Coalition, said she found the poster 'infuriating'. She said 'We need to get beyond police campaigns giving instructions to women on how to behave to be safe. 'We need to talk to those who may perpetrate rape and deter them.' Fabia Bates, director of the Survivors' Network, said 'It is a shame as Sussex Police has made great strides to encourage people to report sexual violence and there is the possibility this could damage people's confidence. 'We are also concerned this suggests those other than the perpetrator are responsible. 'We are here to support anyone who has been the victim and will not judge anyone - it is never the victim's fault.' She was also concerned the poster spoke to only a 'small proportion of society'. Campaign: The posters are due to be put up in pub and club toilets as well as bus stops in Brighton (pictured) as well as other areas of Sussex A pair of police officers watch on as University students gather on the street outside a bar in Brighton Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mid Sussex, called for the police to withdraw the poster. 'Victim blaming is a universal phenomenon. It appears we are taking a step backwards' she said. The poster is part of a campaign to prevent rape and will be put up in pub and club toilets and at bus stops. A police spokesman said it was part of a campaign which, over the summer holiday season, will see club security staff and taxi drivers receive 'special coaching on how to spot vulnerable victims'. Chief Inspector Katy Woolford said the campaign followed research into ways to help vulnerable or at-risk people. Chief Inspector Katy Woolford said the police had a responsibility to advise potential victims on how to minimise risks 'Rape is never a victim's fault, but as with all crimes we can reduce the number of victims in several ways. 'We would be failing in our response if, as with any other crime, we did not recognise that there are victims and urge them to take steps to minimise risks and help safeguard others from becoming victims. 'It is vital to be aware of vulnerability so that steps can be taken to guard against it. 'Friends and bystanders can play a key role in this, learning to recognise where their intervention may prevent a crime taking place.' People were quick to comment on social media today. A Brighton man calling himself 'Maxwell's Ghost' wrote online: 'The posters are about reducing the risk of becoming a victim, just like any other crime poster such as the ones which tell you not to leave Christmas presents on display in your home or leave windows open in summer. 'Sadly, it's true that lone women are at risk from weirdos as are lone males under the age of 25 who are more likely to become the victims of serious violent assault than any other group. 'My wife used to cycle home after a late shift at the hospital, but stopped when a man shoved her off her bike in Edward Street and terrified her. 'She no longer cycles or uses public transport late at night. Sadly there are loons everywhere. 'Perhaps the poster should just say: Watch out, watch out there's a nutter about.' It is not the first time that a police force have been criticised for publishing posters that suggest women may be to blame for being attacked. In 2012 Hampshire Police published a poster as part of an underage drinking campaign which showed a woman being pinned down by an attacker and carried the message 'Her mum bought her the cider'. Also that year West Mercia Police were forced to apologise for posters for its Safe Night Out initiative suggested rape victims were to blame if they were drunk. One poster pictured a smiling woman above another photo of her lying barefoot and apparently unconscious with her dress riding up her thighs. In 2012 West Mercia Police were forced to apologise for posters for its Safe Night Out initiative suggesting rape victims were to blame if they were drunk Manchester Police were praised by anti-rape groups for their 2014 Christmas anti-rape campaign which carried the strapline: 'Drinking is not a Crime. Rape is' The warning reads: ‘Don’t let a night full of promise turn into a morning full of regrets.’ Beneath the woman’s prostrate figure, the poster states: ‘Don’t leave yourself more vulnerable to regretful sex or even rape. Drink sensibly and get home safely.’ A second poster aimed at men also sparked fury, for saying they ‘could’ be breaking the law and arrested if someone hasn’t given their consent for sex or touching. By Comparison Greater Manchester Police were praised by anti-rape groups for their 2014 Christmas anti-rape campaign which carried the strapline: 'Drinking is not a Crime. Rape is'. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030062/Fury-police-anti-rape-poster-blames-women-allowing-friends-attacked.html
  10. Delhi rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back In 2012 an Indian student was violently raped on a moving bus in Delhi and died of horrific internal injuries. Leslee Udwin spoke to one of the rapists on death row while spending two years making a film about the case. She came away shocked by India's treatment of women - but inspired by those seeking change. The horrifying details of the rape had led me to expect deranged monsters. Psychopaths. The truth was far more chilling. These were ordinary, apparently normal and certainly unremarkable men. On 16 December 2012, the 23-year-old woman had been to see a film, the Life of Pi, with a male friend. At 8.30pm they boarded an off-duty bus, with six men on board, five adults and a juvenile. The men beat the friend and each raped the woman in turn, before assaulting her viciously with an iron instrument. Mukesh Singh, the driver of the bus, described to me every detail of what happened during and after the incident. While prosecutors say the men took turns to drive the bus, and all took part in the rape, Singh says he stayed at the wheel throughout. Along with three of the other attackers, Singh is now appealing against his death sentence. In 16 hours of interviews, Singh showed no remorse and kept expressing bewilderment that such a fuss was being made about this rape, when everyone was at it. "A decent girl won't roam around at nine o'clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy," he said. Mukesh Singh is one of five convicted of the crime - his brother Ram died in prison before the trial "Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good." People "had a right to teach them a lesson" he suggested - and he said the woman should have put up with it. Leslee Udwin's film, India's Daughter, will be broadcast on Storyville on BBC Four on Sunday 8 March at 22:00 GMT. It will be shown in India on NDTV at 21:00 local time. "When being raped, she shouldn't fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they'd have dropped her off after 'doing her', and only hit the boy," he said. Chillingly, he went on: "The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won't leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, 'Leave her, she won't tell anyone.' Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death." I had the long and shocking list of injuries the young woman had sustained, read out to him. I tried, really hard, to search for a glimmer of regret. There was none. It would be easier to process this heinous crime if the perpetrators were monsters, and just the rotten apples in the barrel, aberrant in nature. Perhaps then, those of us who believe that capital punishment serves a purpose, and I am not among them, could wring their hands in relief when they hang. For me the truth couldn't be further from this - and perhaps their hanging will even mask the real problem, which is that these men are not the disease, they are the symptoms. My encounter with Singh and four other rapists left me feeling like my soul had been dipped in tar, and there were no cleaning agents in the world that could remove the indelible stain. One of the men I interviewed, Gaurav, had raped a five-year-old girl. I spent three hours filming his interview as he recounted in explicit detail how he had muffled her screams with his big hand. He was sitting throughout the interview and had a half-smile playing on his lips throughout - his nervousness in the presence of a camera, perhaps. At one point I asked him to tell me how tall she was. He stood up, and with his eerie half-smile indicated a height around his knees. When I asked him how he could cross the line from imagining what he wanted to do, to actually doing it - given her height, her eyes, her screams - he looked at me as though I was crazy for even asking the question and said: "She was beggar girl. Her life was of no value." These offences against women and girls are a part of the story, but the full story starts with a girl not being as welcome as a boy, from birth. When sweets are distributed at the birth of a boy, not of a girl. When the boy child is nourished more than the girl, when a girl's movements are restricted and her freedoms and choices are curtailed, when she is sent as a domestic slave to her husband's home… If a girl is accorded no value, if a girl is worth less than a boy, then it stands to reason there will be men who believe they can do what they like with them. In our culture, there is no place for a woman ” ML Sharma Lawyer I spoke to two lawyers who had defended the murderers of the 23-year-old student at their trial, and what they said was extremely revealing. "In our society, we never allow our girls to come out from the house after 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening with any unknown person," said one of the lawyers, ML Sharma. "You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn't have any place in our society. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman." The other lawyer, AP Singh, had said in a previous televised interview: "If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight." He did not disown that comment when I put it to him. "This is my stand," he said. "I still today stand on that reply." Gender-inequality is the primary tumour and rape, trafficking, child marriage, female foeticide, honour killings and so on, are the metastases. And in India the problem is not lack of laws - after all, India is a democracy and a civilised, rapidly developing country. The problem is implementation of them. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution confers absolute equal rights on women. The giving of dowry is a legal offence, but many families maintain the custom nonetheless. Until and unless the mindset changes, the cancer will thrive and continue to spread. But what compelled me to leave my family and go to Delhi to make this film was not the rape itself, nor the horror of it. It was what followed. Starting on the day after the rape, and for over a month, ordinary men and women came out on to the streets of India's cities in unprecedented numbers to protest. They braved a freezing December and a ferocious government crackdown of water cannons, baton charges, and teargas shells. Their courage and determination to be heard was extraordinarily inspiring. There was something momentous about their presence and perseverance - reminiscent to me of the crowds that had thronged Tahrir Square in Cairo - a gathering of civil society that demanded a conversation that was long overdue. It occurred to me that, for all its appalling record of violence against women and relentless rapes, here was India leading the world by example. I couldn't recall another country, in my lifetime, standing up with such tenacity for women, for me. And I knew at once that I simply had to use whatever talents and skills I had, to amplify their cries of "enough is enough!" which were reverberating across the whole world. As is often the case with extremely challenging endeavours where the human stakes are high, the main struggle for me was the emotional and psychological toll the work imposed. When you look into the blackest recesses of the human heart, you cannot but be depressed and deeply disappointed. I woke one morning on the shoot, wet from head to toe, bathed in sweat and fear and my heart knocking against my ribcage. This was a panic attack. I phoned home thinking my husband would answer, but my 13-year-old daughter, Maya, did. She immediately sensed I was in trouble. And when I told her, in tears, that I was coming home because this was too big for me, the mountain was just too high to scale, she said: "Mummy, you can't come home because I and my generation of girls is relying on you." What carried me through, apart from Maya, was what had inspired me in the first place: the new-thinkers, especially among the youth, in India who want change and are clamouring for it. And I am absolutely optimistic that we are now on the cusp of change. India's Daughter will be broadcast on Storyville on BBC Four on Sunday 8 March at 22:00 GMT. It will be shown in India on NDTV at 21:00 local time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31698154 What a deranged animal, bad enough not showing any remorse, but he also states; "You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn't have any place in our society. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman" "When being raped, she shouldn't fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they'd have dropped her off after 'doing her', and only hit the boy,"
  11. The views of a barrister who criticised new legal guidelines about rape in a blog called "She Was Gagging For It" have been branded "alarming" and "deeply offensive". David Osborne, who was called to the criminal Bar in 1974 and has fought cases in the Court of Appeal, said men should walk free from rape trials if the victim says she was too drunk to give valid consent, saying he found it "distasteful and unattractive" that a victim cannot give consent when "blind drunk". His blog, which appears under the masthead "witty, incisive comment on the law today", said: "If the complainant (I do not refer to her as the victim) was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, when she was ‘raped’, this provides the accused with a complete defence. End of story and a victory for fairness, moderation and common sense!" Campaigners said his "deeply offensive" blog ignores current law around consent and plays up to old-fashioned stereotypes of rape victims. The blog was posted in response to guidance issued to lawyers and police officers dealing with rape cases by Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, which spells out situations where possible victims might be unable to give consent to sex, including because of alcohol or drugs. Mr Osborne wrote: "I have always found it distasteful and unattractive the suggestion that as the victim was blind drunk she was therefore unable to give her consent to sex, or more to the point, she gave her consent which she would not have given had she been sober. "In my book, consent is consent, blind drunk or otherwise, and regret after the event cannot make it rape... David Osborne The rape guidelines issued last month advise officers and lawyers to ask how the suspect knew the complainant had consented to sex ''with full capacity and freedom to do so''. Rape Crisis England and Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell said: "Through his unwillingness and inability to grasp the simple legal principle that consent must be freely and fully given by someone with the capacity to do so, he has merely illustrated the desperate ongoing need for measures to improve the criminal justice system for sexual violence survivors. "On top of this, it is outrageous and depressing that someone practising law in the 21st century should be so unabashed about airing such baldly misogynistic and victim-blaming views." Mr Osborne also suggested that rape crimes would fall if girls "covered up". He told the Daily Mirror: "You've seen the news sequences of girls who, regardless of the weather, have their backsides sticking out of their dresses and their tits hanging out of the same dress. "Wandering around the streets, staggering around and then wondering at the end of all that why somebody has, if you like, taken advantage of them. "I tell you what would drop the rape statistics would be if girls covered up, dressed appropriately and stopped drinking themselves legless." The blog Sarah Green, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said she thought the blog was a "sick joke". "This is a legal professional indulging in the oldest stereotypes about rape, probably for attention-seeking purposes, and appearing to condone the predatory behaviour of men who target vulnerable girls. "I suggest he takes time to look at the impact of rape on survivors and how the situation is made worse by being told by people like David Osborne that it is their fault. "We've moved beyond putting restrictions on women's movement and behaviour. We need to talk about men not raping women, not women preventing rape." Ms Osborne is nicknamed "the barrister bard" for once delivering his closing speech to the jury in verse. His blog also condemned the use of 'Ms' as a title for women and asked: "Is it just me, or are women taking over the world? "It’s all to do with political correctness, or so they say, but speaking for my wife, and I suspect millions of other wives, when she agreed to marry me, convention dictated that she took my name and became Mrs. Osborne. "She does not wish to be referred to as Ms. Osborne, nor does she wish to be known as my partner. It’s insulting!" http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/02/07/rape-blog-david-osborne-condemned_n_6635754.html?utm_hp_ref=tw Link to his blog - http://www.david-osborne.com/blog/?p=275. Offensive tripe, or a valid blog piece?
  12. The rise in rape was revealed by the quarterly crime figures published on Thursday, which show an 11% fall in overall crime levels in the 12 months to September 2014. Photograph: Christopher Thomond The number of rapes recorded by the police in England and Wales has risen by 31% in the past year to 24,043 – the highest level since for at least 10 years, according to the Office of National Statistics. The official statisticians say the increase in rapes and a 22% rise in all sexual offences reflects a greater willingness among victims to come forward to report attacks and better recording by the police. The rise in rape is revealed by the quarterly crime figures published on Thursday, which also show an 11% fall in overall crime levels in the 12 months to September 2014 compared with the previous year, according to the authoritative crime survey of England and Wales. The separate measure of police recorded crime figures show no change in the 12 months to September 2014. The 11% fall confirms a continuing downward trend in overall crime levels which are now at their lowest level since 1981. Particularly strong falls were seen in car crime and criminal damage both of which fell by 15% according to the official crime survey. ONS statisticians said the renewed focus on improving the quality of police compliance with national standards for the crime figures led to more crimes being recorded than previously. They point to findings in the crime survey, which interviews 40,000 people about their experience of crime, that there has been no significant long-term change in the rate of sexual offending as evidence that the increase in rape figures reflects better reporting and recording than a real rise in attacks. View the full article
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