Let’s Raise Money for Rape Crisis to fight the rape apologism of Ched Evans’ & Supporters

Today, the Daily Star ran this front page:

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A victim of rape who has been shamed, humiliated, publicly named and denigrated by the supporters of Ched Evans has been reduced to “Footie Rape Girl”. Evans family are currently whining because Rape Crisis don’t support rapists and his fans are threatening any woman who supports Evans’ victim with this particularly pleasant tweet representing the reality of their abuse:

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The abuse continues unabated.

Let’s make it clear that we won’t allow these rape apologists to continue harassing Evans’ victim and fight back by raising money for:

Rape Crisis England/ Wales: 

Local Rape Crisis’ in England & Wales

Rape Crisis Scotland

Local Rape Crisis in Scotland

Judy Finnigan is just wrong about Ched Evans. And, she’s wrong about rape.

I hate writing these posts. I just keep saying the same thing over and over.:

Rape is an act of violence.

I don’t understand how people can not realise that the violation of a woman’s body is ALWAYS an act of violence.

I am so sick of people apologising for Ched Evans as if he was a 6 year old who stole a sweetie from the corner shop on a dare.

The man is a convicted rapist. He chose to rape a woman who was so intoxicated that she could not consent.

Finnigan’s words (transcribed by buzz feed) are harmful:

Finnigan, 66, spoke out in support of Evans, saying the rape wasn’t violent and that he’d “served his time”.

She said: “He’s served his time. The rape – and I’m not by any means minimising any kind of rape – but the rape was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person.”

This is precisely why Evans & his merry band of rape apologists and rapists don’t think Evans has committed a crime. Finnigan has summed up Evan’s defence and numerous appeals in two short sentences. She hasn’t given a thought to the victim (who has had to leave the country after Evan’s mates outed her.

Finnigan needs to take specialist training for her local rape crisis to understand the law on rape and the consequences for women. She also needs victim awareness training to understand trauma.

Then, Finnigan needs to stand up on Loose Women and apologise properly to every single rape victim in the country for telling them that a man shoving his penis inside you isn’t an act of violence. Because, rape is an act of violence.

Ched Evans is a violent rapist.

And those who make statements about grades of rape only help rapists.

 

So, The BBC is still confused about Rape Myths:

I awoke this morning to discover my Twitter timeline in an absolute uproar over a BBC Newsbeat article, written by Declan Harvey and Anisa Subedar, on prosecutions for false rape. I genuinely can not believe that the BBC thought it was appropriate to run a story which is so full of factual inaccuracies and that fundamentally misrepresents what Keir Starmer, head of CPP, said about the incidences of false rape convictions in the UK. 

I have been trying to write a formal letter of complaint to the BBC but I’ve been struggling with just how unbearable the article is. I just can’t quite articulate how damaging and destructive I found the hateful article to be. Others, more articulate than have written responses notably this piece in the Huffington Post, Glosswitch and the F-Word.


The End Violence Against Coalition have written a formal letter of complaint which is available here
Dear BBC Heads of News, 

We are writing to complain about the BBC Newsbeat report on today’s (13 March) CPS report on false allegations of rape and domestic violence. 

We represent more than 60 specialist organisations working to end violence against women and girls in all its forms, and a national network of Rape Crisis centres who work directly with survivors of sexual violence. 

The news report by Declan Harvey and Anisa Subedar, which at time of writing is still on the Newsbeat website and the main BBC news website, is an appalling misrepresentation of the CPS report and fails to reach very basic standards of good journalism. It comprehensively misrepresents the findings of the new CPS report, which is particularly disturbing as Newsbeat is a news outlet for younger people and young women are subject to particularly high rates of sexual violence – victims considering whether or not to report will be among your readers and listeners. 

The BBC report says in its first paragraph the figures on false allegations “…show how common the problem is…” which is precisely what the CPS report (and DPP Keir Starmer when interviewed on the Today Programme this morning) do not say. In commenting on the report Keir Starmer says, “This report shows that false allegations of rape and domestic violence are very rare… From the cases we have analysed, the indication is that it is therefore extremely rare that a suspect deliberately makes a false allegation of rape or domestic violence purely out of malice. It is within this context that the issue should be viewed, so that myths and stereotypes around these cases are not able to take hold.” 

 The BBC report says that some have called for anonymity for those accused of sexual offences but says the government has ruled this out – but it fails to say why the government ruled this out, which is in fact that a consideration of the proposal in 2010 found “insufficient reliable empirical evidence” on which to base such a change (House of Commons Library Note, February 2012). 

Your reporters meanwhile go on to include a case study of a woman prosecuted for a false allegation, “…jailed for two years after accusing three men of raping her. Police say she made the claim because she was embarrassed she’d slept with them in one night.” Whereas the CPS report finds that in a large proportion of cases of false allegations, “…a significant number of these cases involved young, often vulnerable people, and sometimes even children. Around half of the cases involved people aged 21 and under, and some involved people with mental health difficulties.” Your reporters’ choice and description of this case study instead reinforces a dangerous myth about rape – that women make it up after regretting consensual sex. The evidence conclusively does not show this. The fact is that the majority of actual rapes go unreported – not least due to the perpetuation of myths about rape and women’s and girls’ fears that they will not be believed. 

Your reporters go on to make a point about allegations staying on a police record for some months, but again, like the anonymity point above, they fail to say why this is. Allegations remain on a police file, which is not a criminal record and does not show up in record checks (also not clarified), because in the past when allegations have been made against men like Ian Huntley and Jimmy Savile among others, police officers handling further separate allegations were unable to find this information and potentially detect a pattern. 

Your news reporting does BBC journalistic standards a great disservice – it reads as if the reporters read the CPS press release quickly and arbitrarily chose what story they felt like writing, disregarding the actual findings of an authoritative report which is part of ongoing CPS work to improve convictions rates for rape and other forms of violence against women. 

The BBC is still under a spotlight for its failings with regard to Jimmy Savile and a culture of sexism and sexual harassment, and not least the editorial decisions that were made at Newsnight when evidence based on testimony from “just the women” (Peter Rippon) was dismissed as inadequate. We hope that all your news staff are receiving comprehensive training on myths around abuse of women and girls and also how the media’s perpetuation of rape myths is believed to contribute to low reporting rates (Alison Saunders, CPS). A joint report by several of the signatories of this letter published last November, ‘Just the Women’, highlights with examples how poor news reporting on abuse of women and girls contributes to a climate of victims not being believed and not getting justice – it is available on all our websites. 

We want to see your news article comprehensively amended or removed soon. We hope the reporters and editor concerned will receive some training on myths and facts about violence against women and girls. 

We look forward to your reply. 

Yours sincerely, 

End Violence Against Women CoalitionRape Crisis England & WalesEavesEquality NowObject