Sunday, 25 August, 2019

A Massive #ThisIsNotConsent Protest Takes Place At The Spire On Wednesday

Women are tweeting pictures of their underwear after rape case Rallies against victim blaming following use of 17-year-old's underwear in rape trial
Patty Aguilar | 15 November, 2018, 04:49

In closing arguments, defence barrister Elizabeth O'Connell asked jurors to consider that the girl was wearing a lacy thong on the night in question.

On Nov. 6, a 27-year-old man, who denied raping the 17-year-old, was found not guilty by a jury in Cork, which is 250 kilometres southwest of Dublin. That the complainant was "open to meeting someone" because she was "wearing a thong with a lace front".

A jury of eight men and four women acquitted the man unanimously after deliberating for 90 minutes, the Irish Examiner reported.

According to Ms Coppinger, this is not the first time underwear has been used as evidence within a rape trial in Ireland.

"It's absolutely appalling", she said.

"This is really a demand for systemic change for people, particularly women, but every victim of sexual violence, to get a fair hearing".

Grace O'Malley Dunlop, chair of the National Women's Council of Ireland, said blame-the-victim trial tactics are a nightmare for rape survivors.

"Nobody asks to be raped and it's never the victim's fault".

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"The reference to the girl's underwear and the assumption and inference that the jury was being invited to draw - that because she was dressed like that she was asking for sex - does not surprise us".

"The women of this country are getting a little tired at the routine victim-blaming going on in Irish courts, and the failure of lawmakers in this House to do anything about it", said Coppinger, who illustrated her point by holding up a black thong.

"Irrespective of the other evidence... no item of the complainant's clothing implied consent".

Coppinger, the member of Parliament from Dublin-West, said politicians haven't taken the issues of sexual assault and harassment seriously enough.

Lunchtime protests calling for an end to "victim-blaming in the courts" took place in a number of Irish cities on Wednesday, organised by Socialist feminist group Rosa.

"We chose to call this rally not just specifically about this case, but calling for an end to victim blaming in courts".

"The global solidarity that's been extended to these very bad cases when they're exposed will go a long way towards pushing for genuine legal change, and unfortunately that comes from above, but we're going to push from below to ensure it happens now".

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