Friday, July 09, 2010

Rape and Anonymity

There was a debate on the radio today about how parliament is split along gender lines on the the question of anonymity for those accused of rape. I don't see why. I've always wondered, especially when a rape accusation proves to be purely malicious, that mens' identities are not protected until charged and a trial takes place. Womens' identities, as victims, are quite rightly protected so surely what is being advocated by the government is gender equality.

Angela Eagles, a Labour shadow minister, was arguing that this would make women less likely to report rape. Why? How many women, having been raped, would even consider the anonymity of the accused when reporting the crime? I would say none. That is a spurious argument that shows a lack of real substance to those opposing the measure.

Aside from murder I can think of no worse crime than rape. Anonymity is the only way to protect an innocent man from the 'no smoke without fire' brigade, be that family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues or the malicious, self-righteous lynch mob.

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