An update to my blogpost on the rape jury psychology project

In May I published a short blogpost explaining the findings of a major research project in the field of psychology that explored the extent to which jury verdicts in rape cases were affected more by the internal prejudices of the jury members than by the evidence in the case.

I have updated the blogpost to include reference to an abstract from the full research paper. Just click here to access the blogpost and the abstract.


Overheard on the tram

Man: “I was speaking to my German friend, and he said, you know, ‘I just haven’t seen any goats’. But you see, German isn’t an easy language to learn, you’ve got lots of cases and things.”

Woman companion: “But it’s easier than French, isn’t it.”

Prisons minister takes share of blame for poor state of G4S-run jail being taken over by MoJ

‘ The government bears a share of the blame for the state of HMP Birmingham, the prisons minister Rory Stewart has said, after the Ministry of Justice was forced to undertake an emergency takeover of the G4S-run jail. A report by the chief inspector of prisons, published overnight, found drug abuse and violence was rife, prisoners lived in squalid conditions and staff were afraid, sometimes locking themselves away from inmates. “This is partly the responsibility of me, as prisons minister, of the government, and of G4S, which is why we have taken this unprecedented step of stepping in, taking control of the prison,” Stewart told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. ‘

Read the full Guardian report here.

Gosh. If only everyone who works in the criminal justice system had told the Government how privatising the prisons was going to be such a bad idea.

Oh, wait ..

Short skirts can’t give consent can they? 


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.