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Two Wrecked Lives Can't be Better than One

Published by Yvonne Hutchinson on Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 19:04 pm

There are few crimes as devastating to a woman as rape, which is why I recently made public my disgusted at the crass and insensitive remarks of Bradford MP George Galloway.  However, Maura McGowan, chairwoman of the Bar Council is justified in calling for the anonymity of defendants until they are convicted. 

The law rightly protects the identity of victims of rape but many people are wrongly accused of crimes every day, often due to mistaken identity, and this includes rape crimes.  Nevertheless, we all know that when it comes to crimes of a sexual nature (or anything of a sexual nature for that matter) press interest is significantly heightened and public sensitivities inflamed. 

As a result, the country is littered with the shattered lives of innocent men (yes my feminist sisters such creatures do exist) who have been accused of a sex crime only to been found not guilty later.  Only where a defendant has been accused for a second or third time by more than one person should they lose their right to anonymity.  

Despite rape campaigner Jill Sanders’ argument for naming all suspects and my own personal experience of havng an assailant prosecuted after an assault, I remain firmly on the side of justice and fairness.  There is nothing fair or just about seeing an innocent person’s life wrecked just because, in the majority of cases, that person happens to be male.  To maintain the status quo is to fudge the thin line between an anti-rape campaign and a hate campaign and the latter can only serve to undermine the former.

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