This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
WOMEN’S charities slammed Tory MPs’ call for those accused of rape to remain anonymous yesterday, warning that it was “unjustifiable” and will treat victims as “liars.”
Rape Crisis hit back after Mark Pritchard (pictured) and Nigel Evans demanded that the law of anonymity be changed to protect the accused as well as the victims of sexual offences.
Mr Pritchard had been arrested in early December over allegations of rape, but the case was dropped yesterday due to lack of evidence.
A Rape Crisis spokeswoman told the Star the group was “concerned that singling out rape and sexual assault for defendant anonymity would send a message that women who report these crimes are more likely to be lying than people who report other kinds of crime.
“This is a commonly held and damaging myth, which we know through our front-line work often prevents women and girls who’ve experienced sexual violence from coming forward to seek the justice or support they want and deserve for fear of not being believed.
“The idea of exceptional treatment for sexual assault defendants seems unjustifiable.”
Mr Pritchard, who has been the MP for Wrekin since 2005, described his case as a “vindictive and outrageous story” and insisted he had been “falsely accused.”
Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans backed Mr Pritchard’s call, saying: “I think the time has come to redress the balance, to get anonymity for both alleged victim and the accused — at least until there is a charge.”
Mr Evans himself was cleared of a series of sexual offences last April.
But support groups for rape victims vehemently opposed the idea that the law is in need of review.
“Just because something is dropped by the police because there’s not enough evidence, it doesn’t mean that that was actually a false allegation,” said Women Against Rape case worker Alex Brew.
“The only justification to make rape a special case would be the myth that loads of women are lying about it, which is not what we see.”
The Crown Prosecution Service points to a lower-than-1 per cent rate of false rape accusations.
According to Rape Crisis, only 15 per cent of women come forward after being raped.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.