Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Warning: This blog will be talking about a sensitive subject and if you feel uncomfortable about this subject then please don’t read.
Throughout the years there hasn't been much justice for rape victims around the world, especially in the UK. For whenever there is a trial, blame seems to be placed upon the victim for the way they dress, stating “they’re asking for it” which is complete and utter rubbish.
Recently in the news (November 2018) in Belfast, Ireland, a young woman who was 17 years old was raped by a 27 year old man. In the rape trial the defence lawyer told the jury, “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with lace front”.
With this statement the 27 year old man was found not guilty.
This sparked outrage and so much controversy it led one Irish MP (Ruth Coppinger) to hold up a lace thong in parliament to put a stand against victim blaming, which is a typical occurrence in most rape trials. Coppinger pulled the lace thong from her sleeve in Ireland’s national parliament stating, "It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here. How do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court?"
Many women took to twitter in protest by sharing images of their thongs with the hashtag “This is not consent”, women also placed their thongs on the steps of the courthouse in Cork and hung their thongs around the city.
For someone who can’t see the issue with blaming rape victims because of their clothing, I would like to say this… It doesn’t matter if a woman or man is fully clothed from head to toe, or in their birthday suit. Rapists aren’t bothered about what their victims wear, all they care about is forcing sex on someone else. The attitudes of the courts towards these trials mean that the blame is shifted to the victim, which in turn teaches younger generations that it is okay to have sex without consent. This is definitely not okay.
Another important fact that many tend to forget is that men get raped as well as women. A lot of men fear that they would get made fun of if they were ever to claim they had been raped, which makes them feel so insecure and scared that they don’t report and speak up about it.
Men rape women.
Women rape men.
Women rape women.
Men rape men.
It is never okay to make a victim of rape feel uncomfortable and worthless for wearing something that makes them happy and confident.
Sadly there has been incidents where people have actually framed others for rape which is completely out of order, and because of these people, people who actually experience rape won’t get taken seriously because some people think it’s okay to state false accusations.
If this content has affected you or anyone you know, here is a page from This Morning with a list of helplines for rape & sexual abuse victims.