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This is not consent

I am sure many of you have heard about the case in Ireland but just on case you haven’t let me give you an overview of today’s blog.

A 17-year-old girl was raped, and the judge suggested that because she was wearing a thong, she asked for it.

What……Why did your mouth fall open a little. That’s what happened.

You can read the story Here

A 27-year-old man was accused of raping a 17-year-old child and during the case, the jury were asked to consider what she was wearing on the day of the rape. Her underwear that day was a lace front thong and the alleged rapist’s layer said in the closing statement “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

Yes…because she was wearing a thong, she must have wanted sex. That’s what they are saying. And if she came to meet said man in her thong (wanting to have sex) then what did she really expect.

Wait…you think it can’t get worse…

In her closing address to the jury, Ms Elizabeth O’Connell SC told jurors they should have regard for the underwear the complainant wore on the night. “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

Ms O’Connell, a woman, is stating that if a woman wears a thong then she must want sex. A woman said it. Let’s not even get started on the fact that we are talking about a 17-year-old child …. but either way…what a disappointment to women Ms O’Connell is.

Noeline Blackwell, the Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, is highlighting cases like this and exposing the way women are treated during rape cases. Noeline says that how w women acts of dresses can have an impact on a case “It comes up very, very regularly how someone was dressed, the amount of drink they had taken, why they hadn’t screamed if they were in trouble.”

As my regular readers will know, I am really struggling with understanding what is going on in the world at the moment and things are making me feel sad. But in court and being said by other women…this makes me not want to write blogs anymore. It makes me want to just sit down and give up. And I will tell you why.

My daughter is 10. She is …stunning. I know parents think their children are beautiful but trust me on this one. She likes to wear crop tops. She is being assessed for ASD and a big thing for her is sensory issues. Crop tops don’t touch her belly and she like that. On Friday for children in need children could wear their own clothes to school. My daughter wanted to wear her jumper crop top. I said No. When she came down the stairs dressed in her crop top and skinny jeans that morning, she looked stunning. Like a Barbi doll. She looked older than 9. I told her to go and change. I tried to explain that she couldn’t dress like that, but I didn’t really have a valid reason other than…I was worried how someone could look at her. How a bad person could look at her an find her attractive. I didn’t say that of course, I just said that she couldn’t. But that’s the truth, I am already conditioning my daughters mind that she must not dress a certain way…in case she draws attention to herself. As she gets older will I continue to tell her not to dress a certain way? I guess so.

Do I believe that my daughter should be able to dress how she wants? 100% yes. Does she live in a world where this is possible…? well this article says it all doesn’t it.

We live in a world where the way a human is dressed can be used against them in a rape case.

People rape people because they are rapists. That’s the black and white of it. If rape takes place it has nothing to do with the victim, I don’t care if someone is walking down the street in their underwear, t=if is still not their fault if they get rapped. It’s the fault of the perpetrator.

Grace O’Malley, the chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said that using underwear worn by a rape victim in trails as a defence is not acceptable. She goes on to say “rape is rape, and no victim of rape or sexual assault brings it upon themselves.  It is an act of violence and it is nothing to do with sex.”

I could not have said it better myself. No victim is to blame for rape. No matter what the situation it is always the rapist that is to blame. But…. they are words…because in a court of law that’s not the case. The way you were dressed, were acting, your previous sexual activity…all this can be used against you. I have seen it happen. That’s if it makes it too court. I have seen many girls and women make disclosures of rape and for it all to fall apart before court is even looked at due to one reason or another. That why so many women do not speak out. Because they know they could be dragged through court, things from their past talked about…underwear presented to a jury.

What a sick world we live in where we allow the victim of a crime to be treated as the criminal.

I don’t know the ins and outs of the case in question. I don’t know what happened between the two people, I was not there. Me personally, a 27-year-old man having any kind of sexual contact with a 17-year-old is a concern. For me personally.

I am also aware that people lie about being raped and people have gone to prison or received convictions for rape they did not commit,  Cases have to be looked to be examined to  see what is true and what is not.

Still don’t see what the size and shape of your kickers have to do with it. How many people get raped that are not wearing thongs?

Sadly, it seems I will have to continue to teach my daughter to dress and act a certain way because the law, once again, does not protect girls and women the way it should.

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