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Short skirts can’t give consent can they? 

designatedsafeguardinglead

Many would have seen the sky news reporter saying that drunk girls who wear short skirts should take some responsibly for sex attacks. My head, as was many other fantastic tweeters, was spinning. I thought we had moved past this victim blaming. And then a female co presenter ( I think she presents the weather) agreed with him saying ” why would you want to wear a short skirt, for fashion? Well I am fashionable and am wearing trousers!” My head exploded at this point.

Where do I start? First of all. Consent : how is wearing an outfit consent to rape? It might be the girl would like sex that night but I am pretty sure it won’t be with anyone. Maybe she has someone in mind that she fancies and yes maybe that outfit makes her feel good and feel sexy and she hopes it attracts the man…

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“A man raped me, another tried to. They were not animals. They were men.”

“They’re not monsters but it’s so much easier to paint the few who are charged as such. Because we know how to look out for the bogeyman. We’ve been training for it our whole lives. We’ve been checking under our beds when, so many times, they are in them. They’re not monsters. They’re human. And thinking of them as anything but only adds more distance between what was done and who did it.”

A powerful account.

Read it in the Guardian here.

Does my child need a child car seat? Some help.

This is a surprisingly difficult area to get clear answers. The simple, but unhelpful, answer is ‘sometimes’.

If you are armed with the child’s age, height and weight, then you can get greater clarity. I have drawn up a table to try and help. Access it here. Read all of the table, to make sure you don’t miss an entry that applies to your child.

There’s more than just the table. Read my extra notes here.

Also visit the Government webpages here and here.

Whatever the minimum legal requirements may be, just get a child car seat appropriate to your child’s height or weight.

 

“A growing number of pupils are taking pictures up teachers’ skirts and posting them on social media, unions have warned.”

This is a disturbing trend that is making teachers the subject of humiliating and despicable sexual offending. Remember that the most appropriate offence that covers upskirting conduct (outraging public decency) attacks conduct that occurs in a public location, and schools most definitely are not public areas – see my blogpost on up skirting here.

“It comes after a study by NASUWT in March revealed that four in five (81 per cent) of teachers said they believed they had suffered sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace since starting the profession.”

Read the full story in today’s Independent here. The Government’s proposals on legislation cannot come soon enough.

Very much enjoyed speaking this morning with @BBCWomansHour about rape juries

Listen to the programme here.

So much to say on this. The project was three years in the development and was the closest that any research has ever got to recreating an exact rape trial: real lawyers, real law and the real summonsing of ‘mock jurors’. The findings were as clear as they were concerning. This research now constitutes an evidence base, arrived at scientifically,  that those jurors who are affected (even unconsciously) by prejudices and myths on the issue of rape cannot shake those prejudices when assessing the evidence in a case where the complainant and the accused knew each other already.

Those myths surrounding the crime of rape, and who may be an offender and who may be a victim, are prevalent, but wrong. Examples include:

  • An offence is only rape if it occurs between strangers in alleyways;
  • Rape is a crime of passion based on uncontrollable sexual urges;
  • If the complainant does not scream, fight or is not injured, it can’t be rape;
  • You can tell if a complainant has really been raped by how she acts afterwards;
  • Women cry rape when regret having sex or want to seek revenge.

 

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Secondary traumatic stress: the risks to investigators and lawyers

Here is a snapshot from today’s very important story in the Times. Read the whole story here.

The Bar is well underway with its Wellbeing initiative, Judges are offered counselling. It stands to reason that police officers will also be affected. Two thirds of all trials at the Crown Court involve sex allegations. There is a human cost to bringing these cases that cannot be ignored.