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Chance of rapist going to jail is less than 1%

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/rape_a_complex_crime.html
It is an exercise that has been conducted three times now and is backed up by other academic studies. The results are consistent. One in 20 women said they had been raped since they were 16. One in 200 said they had been raped in the previous 12 months. In terms of the population of England and Wales, that suggests 85,000 women are raped each year - 230 a day. And yet the number of men convicted of rape is fewer than 800 a year. So the chance of a victim seeing her attacker jailed is less than one in 100.

85,000 women raped a year and only 800 rape convictions secured? That's shocking. But, if you read on, it is more complex than that:
What's more, even though their experience is technically rape in law, 57% of rape victims don't necessarily think of themselves that way.

57% of rape victims don't believe they've actually been raped (if I'm reading that correctly). Does this mean that the definition in law is wrong, or the attitudes of rape victims is wrong and they feel that attackers are 'allowed' to rape them? Or a bit of both :eek2:

What if rape cases were heard by a tribunal instead of a jury? So, it would be legal experts making the judgement as to whether rape occured or not rather than people who don't understand what the question of law is. Especially so if 57% of rape victims don't even believe they are rape victims - it seems even more likely that a jury of peers will probably think its rape in less than that 57% of cases.

It will -always- be a difficult crime to prove satisfactorily, but there is clearly something wrong with a system which convicts 800 attackers a year with 85000 instances of rape a year.

Although having said all of this, I still believe prevention is better than cure and we should be putting most of the effort in dealing with the causes of rape (which i've talked about before, but it got a bit heated as I think some misinterpreted me saying reducing risk as blaming the woman :s). Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. The only way you can stop it if it's someone you trust if is the attacker knows its always always wrong if they say no.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know, but I suspect that some of the incidents of 'rape' where the victim doesn't realise it was rape will be the result of questionnaires that ask 'Have you ever had sex when you were too drunk/high to really know what you were doing?'.

    Technically that's rape, but most women who go out for a night, get hammered and go home with a guy in a good humoured drunked stupour wouldn't see the evenings shagging as rape.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/07/rape_a_complex_crime.html



    85,000 women raped a year and only 800 rape convictions secured? That's shocking. But, if you read on, it is more complex than that:



    57% of rape victims don't believe they've actually been raped (if I'm reading that correctly). Does this mean that the definition in law is wrong, or the attitudes of rape victims is wrong and they feel that attackers are 'allowed' to rape them? Or a bit of both :eek2:
    Having the thought that they've not been raped might be a consequence of supression of their real feelings and mindset, many of those who suffers from traumatic experiences don't really want to admit to themselves that it really happened and thus makes up other explanations for themselves as to why the traumatic event occured at all, and I guess the same goes for rape victims.
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    What if rape cases were heard by a tribunal instead of a jury? So, it would be legal experts making the judgement as to whether rape occured or not rather than people who don't understand what the question of law is. Especially so if 57% of rape victims don't even believe they are rape victims - it seems even more likely that a jury of peers will probably think its rape in less than that 57% of cases.

    It will -always- be a difficult crime to prove satisfactorily, but there is clearly something wrong with a system which convicts 800 attackers a year with 85000 instances of rape a year.
    It's not just to start using tribunals for rape (or any other crime for the sake of being) as most western legal system is based on the principle of "conviction by an equal", usually consisting of a jury of "laymen".

    Yes, it's a shame that some perpentrators are being let off easily, but the quesion is what one can do about that if we want to maintain legal security. One could of course lower the requirements to evidence in rape cases, but i do think that the cost could be high in terms of people being convicted on an innocent basis, and there's no crime that justifies that. It is probably better to increase maximum penalties for sexually oriented crime.
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Although having said all of this, I still believe prevention is better than cure and we should be putting most of the effort in dealing with the causes of rape (which i've talked about before, but it got a bit heated as I think some misinterpreted me saying reducing risk as blaming the woman :s). Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. The only way you can stop it if it's someone you trust if is the attacker knows its always always wrong if they say no.

    Yes, this is always the problem of saying that you might just have the chance of avoidance of rape if you take care of yourself, just seems that so many people just doesn't get that preventing something from happening isn't the same as accepting responsibility for it should it happen anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    57% of rape victims don't believe they've actually been raped (if I'm reading that correctly). Does this mean that the definition in law is wrong, or the attitudes of rape victims is wrong and they feel that attackers are 'allowed' to rape them? Or a bit of both

    After my assault it took two people to sit down and point out to me what had happened in the legal sense. I was still in a bit of shock and it didn't really occur to me what to think as my mind had gone into 'survival' mode so I was a bit numb to what was going on around me. A ex of a friend was raped a couple of years ago and something similar had happened to her, she had been locked in a room for a day and in her words, her priority was to get out alive. Reflection came later.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even if DNA-tested, couldn't the guy always say it was entirely consensual, and she was drunk?

    Unless there is serious physical assault done as well (mild bruising/bleeding could just be seen as rough sex), it seems impossible for there to be a conviction (maybe if CCTV clearly shows he was an unwanted stranger maybe).. as if its her word against his, insufficient evidence means innocent until proven guilty..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    J wrote: »
    I think that because I find rape so disgusting I find it hard to believe it happens as much as people say it does. :confused:

    Well, it can be hard to separate the liers from the real victims. Personally I don't understand how people can use such grave allegations against innocent people. Just makes it harder for victims to be believed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    J wrote: »
    I find it hard to believe it happens as much as people say it does. :confused:
    Really? I find it hard to believe that rape happens as LITTLE as people say it does. I reckon most of them are never reported in the first place to the authorities.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm afraid to say that for saying the victims of rape who were drunk got what they deserved and for saying anyone who didn't physically fight back during rape actually liked it J's account has been banned.

    In afraid that having a mental health problem doesn't justify posting offensive comments and the user had made a specific agreement not to post about these issues if he wished to continue using the boards. He broke that here and being in a pissed off mood doesn't change that. Given his long standing membership of the boards the decision will be reviewed in the morning but I can't imagine the it changing.

    Most of the comments have been removed and it's probably best you try to return this thread to it's topic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Jim! I thought at the least his posts in this thread should've been deleted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh dear what have I done :no:

    Back on topic...
    One in 20 women said they had been raped since they were 16.

    How many females do you know? How many of them have been raped? It's one thing when it's a number, but to think of real people you know and spend time with going through it, it's an entirely different matter. 1 in 20 is far too much, thats 5% of women in this country who say they have been raped.

    Far more serious than knife crime imo.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Erm, did I post on this topic? I remember writing one while I was at work, but then I might've got distracted (by work, surprisingly), and closed the window. But now I reckon it might've got deleted because I was quoting J. :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    -
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The main focuses should be on helping the victims recover and creating an environment where they can come forward to receive such help. Working on prevention is also good, although I'm not sure how effective it is in most cases.

    I think most women(victims) realise how terribly hard it is to prove they were raped so many won't be wanting to go through a long exhausting trial where it tends to be he said she said -woops, we don't have enough evidence!
    You preferably need to be bruised and battered and have medical records to show it in order to get justice. Even that's not always enough, as an Icelandic jury proved. Apparantly us girls like to be roughened up in public toilets.

    Still today, where I feel I've recovered after being sexually harassed and groomed to the point that if he had tried to rape me I wouldn't have twitched a muscle, I'm still not sure I'd want to press charges if I thought I could. I don't think I could deal with going to court only to see the man who left my life in ruins walk away leaving my honesty in question.

    The worst part is probably knowing why it's so hard to change those shameful statistics. I wish I could scream about how unfair the system is but I just can't bring myself to do it because I wouldn't either want an innocent person get sent down for rape.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think helping the victim recover emotionally is extremely important, but as I've never been through anything like that myself I don't know enough to say how it should be done or what the victim will need.
    I think our culture views rape with a strange mix of fear, blame and a kind of enforced silence. Many of my friends were practically encouraged from their early teens to not trust any men at all to a completely unsustainable degree. For example, I have one friend who was told when she was 14 to never sit by a man on the bus incases he touches her, which obviously isn't practical and she was terrified that if anything did happen to her she would be blamed for sitting next to him when she was told not to. She was never sexually assualted, but felt ashamed and guilty when she'd done nothing wrong, and if somebody did attack her I don't think she would have told anyone, because of what her parents put her through when they thought they were protecting her.
    Although in my experience people mostly believe anyone who's been raped should be supported, there's always the one person, in my expereince often a woman, who asks "what was she wearing? How much did she drink? Why didn't she scream louder?" I actually think this response is due to fear. If a woman convinces herself that ther person who was raped contributed in some way she can convince herself it won't happen to her.
    I think ShyBoy had a good point when he said that talking about how to prevent rape can get heated, even though no sane person could ever truly believe that the victim was to blame. In some ways I don't understand it because when I go out with my friends we makes sure someone is always watching the drinks and if we seperate we meet up at certain points in the night. This doesn't mean that if we didn't do this we would be in any way responsible if one of us was raped, but it might reduce the risk. Obviously being having a few drinks or being alone is not an invitation to be raped, anybody who thinks it is is dangerous and I think it's horific that people need to say that. We seem to be relying on victims to prove they deserve support and the system needs to change, which is completely unfair.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    tinkler wrote: »
    Even if DNA-tested, couldn't the guy always say it was entirely consensual, and she was drunk?

    Unless there is serious physical assault done as well (mild bruising/bleeding could just be seen as rough sex), it seems impossible for there to be a conviction (maybe if CCTV clearly shows he was an unwanted stranger maybe).. as if its her word against his, insufficient evidence means innocent until proven guilty..

    Hmmmmm ... because most rape victims are women and are attacked by men, I would say more thought needs to be placed on how to prevent this horrible crime happening, as opposed to how men might possibly get out of a rape conviction.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Erm, did I post on this topic? I remember writing one while I was at work, but then I might've got distracted (by work, surprisingly), and closed the window. But now I reckon it might've got deleted because I was quoting J. :chin:

    A lot of the posts got deleted in this thread :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    Hmmmmm ... because most rape victims are women and are attacked by men, I would say more thought needs to be placed on how to prevent this horrible crime happening, as opposed to how men might possibly get out of a rape conviction.

    but we operate on a beyond reasonable doubt burden of proof, most times of sexual assault, the victim knows the attackers, how can an act between 2 people in private,with or without consent be proved that's the problem because if you presume innocence in all trials, then most will be thrown out if it's just word against word, unless you can prove the defendant is a liar with a history, but then the defence can attempt to prove she consented but regretted it after
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont know how representative a sample it is but three women I know have been raped. Two were 'drunken mistakes' where they werent in a fit state to give any agreement at all and the other was sexually abused as an early teen.

    None of them have reported it, two of the three see it as rape and one just (one of the drunken mistakes) wants to forget about it so doesnt label it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    where does a drunken mistake become rape though? It's a blurry line. Obviously if she was paraletic and the guy was in control of his faculties and took advantage that seems to be clear cut rape. But if they were both drunk, and without violence or coercion (so, much as a normal sexual encounter would occur, except without the proper thinking skills because of the drink), is it rape? As someone has pointed out before, people sometimes wake up next to someone after a night out and dont actually remember what happened - male and female. Do they rape each other? Or do you just chalk it up to experience?

    I think rape has to be something intentional. That doesn't mean drunkeness is an excuse in fact I would say it makes it worse because you are more likely to do something horrible like that (if you are not thinking about your actions). But... where is the line.

    Not something I've mentioned before as its obviously personal to me and upset me a lot, but one time I had a (regretable, I was in another relationship) mutual encounter with a friend who then told my best friend afterwards I had taken advantage. It never went that far as we both felt guilty, but it has often made me think that rape has to be the crime as it is in the books - non concensual sex - where consent can never be withdrawn after the fact.

    This is why alcohol makes it such a problematic issue because consent can be misinformed under the influence.

    But I do no mean to imply in any way your friends were not raped, just the alcohol issue does open a whole new can of worms. It's a shame that people feel they can't come forward.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A person is responsible for their actions when intoxicated so why not when intoxicated and when they have sex?

    Giving consent after putting yourself in no fit state to do so is still consent. A person willingly intoxicating themselves then doing somethign they regret is their own fault.

    I really dont get people when they say if a woman was so drunk and in no fit state to consent but does so anyway the bloke should get 10 years but if shes so drunk shes joins in a brawl she should be prosecuted.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Drunken consent is still consent.

    If you're past out on the floor you haven't given consent

    Seems reasonably clear cut.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Although in my experience people mostly believe anyone who's been raped should be supported, there's always the one person, in my expereince often a woman, who asks "what was she wearing? How much did she drink? Why didn't she scream louder?" I actually think this response is due to fear. If a woman convinces herself that ther person who was raped contributed in some way she can convince herself it won't happen to her.

    Just world hypothesis, aka "blame the victim"; I'd be wary of thinking that it comes mainly from women, it's probably split quite evenly. There's still such stigma surrounding rape, socially, similar to the examples you gave of people being told they must be incomprehensibly alert all the time, plus the fear of the actual confession to the police and subsequent trial - the possibility of dealing with an insensitive police officer, and later in court the very real possibility of being made out by the defence to be a liar or a whore. It's really not at all shocking that a lot of it goes unreported and unconvicted.
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,281 Skive's The Limit
    Drunken consent is still consent.

    If you're past out on the floor you haven't given consent

    Seems reasonably clear cut.

    Alcohol makes you forget stuff which is the problem I think. Not remembering giving consent doesn't mean you didn't, and doesn't mean you were raped.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends on the person. If they have drunk too much and passed out, then they should have had the control to stop themselves drinking so much. I've never forgotten anything I've done, or someone else has done that I would class as serious, anything small in detail I wouldn't remember, but I certainly would remember being raped.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    JavaKrypt wrote: »
    Depends on the person. If they have drunk too much and passed out, then they should have had the control to stop themselves drinking so much.

    People will drink too much though, and it doesnt make them responsible for any creimes committed against them. Personally I think the best solution for this particular issue is staying with a group of friends. But since most rapes occur with someone you know, you might be having an avening with a friend talking and drinking a bottle of wine, then they decide to take things too far.

    I don't know how society can help prevent that happen...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    Alcohol makes you forget stuff which is the problem I think. Not remembering giving consent doesn't mean you didn't, and doesn't mean you were raped.

    That's the problem with many rape cases/other sexually oriented cases, as you can often argue in both directions, meaning that a "neutral" (not saying anything) means the same as not giving consent or that not saying anything means giving consent, and this issue gets even more unclear when there's alcohol in the picture.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Might be worth clarifying what consent means legally here -

    Here are the revelant sections of the Sexual Offences Act
    74

    ?Consent?

    For the purposes of this Part, a person consents if he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

    75

    Evidential presumptions about consent

    (1) If in proceedings for an offence to which this section applies it is proved?

    (a) that the defendant did the relevant act,
    (b) that any of the circumstances specified in subsection (2) existed, and
    (c) that the defendant knew that those circumstances existed,

    the complainant is to be taken not to have consented to the relevant act unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he consented, and the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed that the complainant consented unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

    (2) The circumstances are that?

    (a) any person was, at the time of the relevant act or immediately before it began, using violence against the complainant or causing the complainant to fear that immediate violence would be used against him;

    (b) any person was, at the time of the relevant act or immediately before it began, causing the complainant to fear that violence was being used, or that immediate violence would be used, against another person;

    (c) the complainant was, and the defendant was not, unlawfully detained at the time of the relevant act;

    (d) the complainant was asleep or otherwise unconscious at the time of the relevant act;

    (e) because of the complainant?s physical disability, the complainant would not have been able at the time of the relevant act to communicate to the defendant whether the complainant consented;

    (f) any person had administered to or caused to be taken by the complainant, without the complainant?s consent, a substance which, having regard to when it was administered or taken, was capable of causing or enabling the complainant to be stupefied or overpowered at the time of the relevant act.

    (3) In subsection (2)(a) and (b), the reference to the time immediately before the relevant act began is, in the case of an act which is one of a continuous series of sexual activities, a reference to the time immediately before the first sexual activity began.

    76

    Conclusive presumptions about consent (1) If in proceedings for an offence to which this section applies it is proved that the defendant did the relevant act and that any of the circumstances specified in subsection (2) existed, it is to be conclusively presumed?

    (a) that the complainant did not consent to the relevant act, and
    (b) that the defendant did not believe that the complainant consented to the relevant act.

    (2) The circumstances are that?

    (a) the defendant intentionally deceived the complainant as to the nature
    or purpose of the relevant act;
    (b) the defendant intentionally induced the complainant to consent to the relevant act by impersonating a person known personally to the complainant.

    The early part is the most relevant section, it is the responsibility of people having sex, under British law, to show in court how he or she judged that consent was given and what measures they took to assertain this.

    Another important point, especially around alcohol, is the section that covers unconciousness and sleep. If a person is unconcious then they should be judged under the law to not have given consent. If two people have been getting drunk and getting off with each other then one of them fall asleep drunk and can't be woken up - that means their isn't consent anymore. What happened before the person became unconcious doesn't allow the other person to do whatever they want with the unconcious person.

    If on the other hand he or she doesn't remember giving consent that doesn't make it rape - the problem is that in court a lawyer for a defendant will absolutely claim that consent was given and forgotten - even when it wasn't. Indeed, especially when it wasn't.

    Given the way society views 'binge drinking' there is also plenty of evidence that juries will think that - a woman who was drunk was out looking for sex and that anyone who get drunks will normally forget what they've done.

    For example, the comments that people have made saying 'I'd remember what happened when I was drunk' doesn't necessarily apply, just because you'd remember everything that happened doesn't mean a lawyer won't say that you've forgotten giving consent and will simply point to your drinking as proof.

    I think in the case of rape and sexual assualt involving young people, especially who have been drinking that there is a clear argument for forming juries of people's real peers. At least young people themselves with some experience of drinking and the social scene they exist in. Better that than a jury of 65 year old tea-totalers who think that drunken sluts get what they deserve....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    57% of rape victims don't believe they've actually been raped (if I'm reading that correctly). Does this mean that the definition in law is wrong, or the attitudes of rape victims is wrong and they feel that attackers are 'allowed' to rape them? Or a bit of both :eek2:

    It's more a case of "did i just dream that?" - i know it's not always the way it is in the movies. Rape is and it isnt what you think it is.
    What if rape cases were heard by a tribunal instead of a jury? So, it would be legal experts making the judgement as to whether rape occured or not rather than people who don't understand what the question of law is. Especially so if 57% of rape victims don't even believe they are rape victims - it seems even more likely that a jury of peers will probably think its rape in less than that 57% of cases.

    I can imagine a lot of cases are impossible to prove because people don't go to the police straight away. We can't just start tossing people in jail who get accused. Remember the taxi driver who's life was ruined by a girl who was too drunk to remember?

    What we need is to give people more information on what to do should they feel they've been raped as well as develop more conclusive methods of colelcting evidence.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Posts: 16,688 Skive's The Limit
    Jim V wrote: »
    immediate violence
    What does this mean? Is it saying that if the alleged rapist allegedly said "If you don't let me you'll be dead in a few days" it's not classed as rape?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What does this mean? Is it saying that if the alleged rapist allegedly said "If you don't let me you'll be dead in a few days" it's not classed as rape?

    The list that follows the first bit is the evidential presumptions - these are the situations in which consent is automatically assumed not to have been given. If none are present it doesn't mean that consent has been given - a person still needs to consent and the people involved still need to demonstrate why they believed consent was given. Threatening someone's life to get them to have sex wouldn't be seen as a consenting sexual activity.
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