Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-12-10

UK Moves to Give Anonymity to Rape Defendants

United Kingdom Justice Minister, Crispin Blunt, has announced that the British government plans to bring forward legislation that would grant anonymity to those accused of rape until they are charged. The government intends on bringing the legislation forward "as soon as possible," bypassing formal consultation, according to the Telegraph.

The issue has the United Kingdom's House of Commons divided on gender lines rather than party lines, according to BBC News. While male members of parliament (MP) from all parties spoke in support of the plan, female MPs spoke against the legislation, and described it as "deeply disturbing," reported the Telegraph.

Male MPs have been quoted as supporting the legislation because of the consequences a false accusation can have on one's reputation. Keith Vaz, Labour chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said "whole lives can be destroyed" by false accusations, according to the Telegraph.

Female MP's oppose the legislation as they say that it will prevent women from making allegations about rape. Conservative MP Louise Bagshawe of Corby said that by "singling out rape in this way ministers are sending a negative signal about women and those who accuse men of rape," reported the Telegraph. Anna Sourby, a Tory MP and former criminal barrister, also said that that when the accused's name was made public, other victims often came forward.

Shadow minister for women and equalities Yvette Cooper spoke against the legislation, saying, "Again the Government's failed to give any reason why rape should be treated differently to any other crime - and chose, instead, to send out the very strong signal that women are not to be believed," according to the Telegraph.

Those accused of other crimes, including murder, are not granted anonymity prior to conviction.

Media Resources: Telegraph 7/8/10; BBC News 6/15/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/22/2014 Students Protest Fordham University's Anti-Birth Control Policy - Students at Fordham University are engaged in a battle against the New York City Catholic school's anti-birth control policy. Students for Sex & Gender Equality and Safety (SAGES) has launched a petition drive, calling on Fordham to provide free and confidential access to birth control and STI testing on-campus, free condoms, professional gynecological services at the university, and resources for pregnant women, among other things. . . .
 
10/22/2014 Doctors Warn That Measure 1 Would End In Vitro Fertilization in North Dakota - Doctors at North Dakota's only clinic offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) are speaking out to warn voters that Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state, would make the practice illegal. Dr. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .