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

7/2/2015 President Obama Will Expand Overtime Pay to Millions of Americans - President Obama is proposing a plan this week to broaden overtime pay that is expected to affect millions of Americans in the working class, especially women. In an Op-Ed written for and published by the Huffington Post, President Obama summarized what he called a successful week for Americans. . . .
 
7/2/2015 National Portrait Gallery Honors Dolores Huerta - Feminist Majority Foundation board member and lifelong feminist activist Dolores Huerta was honored by the National Portrait Gallery last night as the first Latina person to have a featured exhibition at the museum. Huerta is an active defender of civil rights, farm workers' rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights, and has been for over five decades. . . .
 
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .