Friday, 21 May 2010

Accused in rape trials to be anonymous

Having read Sue Lees' Carnal Knowledge I can only think this is a bad thing. It will be the only crime where the accused has a right to anonymity. As rapists are getting more sophisticated and taking the trouble to get to know their victims before striking this will mean that these serial rapists are even more likely to get away with it. The conviction rate for rape where the victim knew their attacker is very small - I'm not going to quote figures because I have not looked up the latest ones and I don't want to post incorrect data. Stranger rape is more likely to result in a conviction - provided the accused is identified and caught.

At the risk of going against my own sex I would almost say it is better to have no anonymity for accused AND victim rather than losing the chance to have other victims come forward when the accused is publicly named. Many women waive their right to anonymity in any case - so will this proposed change mean that the rapist would also be named? Not enough information available yet I think.

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