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Rape Defendants May Get to Remain Anonymous in UK

Should the Identity of Rape Defendants Be Protected?

Though women may hold other women accountable for rape, the law in both the US and UK has long sided with the victims. Now a group in England is proposing the identities of defendants be protected, too. While a startlingly high number — 94 percent — of rape cases don't end in conviction, it has more to do with how difficult they are to prosecute than false accusations.

Accused rapists once remained anonymous in England, but in 1988 the ban on identifying defendants was lifted because it not only prevented women from coming forward, but it also made the already-difficult cases harder to investigate. Nobody could be interviewed if the defendant was anonymous.

Acquitted defendants often ask why they can't have anonymity if the alleged victim has it. Aren't they, in the end, the real victim? Maybe. But then that could be true for all court cases.

The majority of people in the UK already say women should accept some blame if raped, but does that mean potential rapists should be given a break?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
runningesq runningesq 7 years
At the risk of sounding nitpicky, no one is "found innocent." A defendant may be found not guilty, which meant that the state could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt/ to a moral certainty, but that does not mean that s/he is "found innocent." And I agree, inlove, but I think that "guilty until proven innocent" is more in the court of public opinion/ media than in a courtroom.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I totally agree elramos!
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I think it depends, at my old high school a teacher was wrongly accused of rape, and even though he was proven innocent his life was basically ruined. He got fired from our school district, and even though he was proven innocent he is still not allowed to work their anymore. However, if someone did rape someone then they do deserve to be put out in public. I kinda hate how it's more "guilty until proven innocent" than vice versa.
reesiecup reesiecup 7 years
There will always be doubts cast at the defendant even if he is found innocent. Still, I think keeping everyone in the dark will make investigations harder.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
Defendants in other crimes aren't anonymous - why give rapists special treatment? Since the nature of rape is that the rapist often commits it more than once against different women, making the defendant anonymous means that another woman may lose out on the opportunity to see justice. This is as ridiculous a plan as the 'skinny jeans' defense! You can find me at Life: Forward ( talking about women, the wage gender gap, and body image.
elramos elramos 7 years
I agree with making it equal also. "Victims" can falsely accuse someone, ruin their reputation and be protected behind anonymity. I think both names should be made public. Also, it can remove the stigma surrounding rape. Hiding the victims name perpetuates the idea that is is something to be ashamed about. It is a horrible dehumanizing crime but hiding victims names perpetuates the idea that it is something they, the victim, should be ashamed about. That shame is the reason why many people don't come forward. Of course, feeling shamed about rape is so embedded in our society that it could probably never be fixed.
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
The very small percentage of false accusations is what really skews rape trials. There are cases where there is EVIDENCE and the rapist is walking away free, because of the stigma. DNA evidence in the vagina? Maybe you wanted it, maybe you told him yes and you meant no, maybe you shouldn't have taken your underwear off. Names should be published so that other women who have been raped by the man (and let's face it, they are not singular offenders) can come forward so that they know they are not suffering alone. It is a very narrow-minded view that women just make false accusations of rape, because they feel like a laugh or something. Rape is incredibly serious.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
i don't really think either name should be reported or broadcasted, but its silly to do a trial without names. we can't do everything in the interest of protecting people from slander. rape is much more serious than slander, and everyone is aware that false allegations are made sometimes
janneth janneth 7 years
Equal? Huh?
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
I agree with spackat. You have to make it equal.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Oh, also.. trials ending in not guilty are also eligible for expungments.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
It's all public record. If an arrest doesn't result in a conviction, then the case is nolle prossed (not prosecuted, dismissed), and the defendant is eligible to have the case expunged (in most circumstances). This is the case in Maryland - I don't know about other states. SKG -- I would think the 94% includes pleas ... Tres said "convictions" and a plea = trial as far as "guilty" goes.. but that does seem like a rather high number. Maybe 94% of all accusations (as opposed to arrests) don't result in convictions? (and I'm not sure if I read your comment wrong, but the article is about DEFENDANTS wanting to keep their idenities secret - not the victims/ complaintants)
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
Sometimes man are victim of lies, it does happen and their reputation can forever be ruined. But, I don't know if I want the name of guilty rapist to be protected. I think that the media should be responsible and clarify the the persons is a suspect and that he or she has not been found guilty yet.
stephley stephley 7 years
A lot of people are acquitted of crimes, often on technicalities. Maybe we should keep everyone's name secret? A murder trial doesn't help anyone's reputation. No, I think keeping the alleged rapist's name secret is a suggestion that the victim isn't necessarily to be believed. To be bringing the matter to court, we should be able to trust that authorities believe a crime was committed and that the defendant did it.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm torn. I know that some women are legitimately raped and don't feel that those men should have their identities protected. There are, however, false accusations, and the stigma attached to them won't necessarily go away when the charge does.
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