Friday, 31 October 2014

Can we have a feminist outcry about this please?

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From the report - a flawed report, for sure, but valuable nonetheless - by Labour MP Anne Coffey and commissioned by Greater Manchester Police. If we want to know one of the biggest reasons why we're failing to protect girls and young women from rape and abuse try this:

In a normally confidential file, prosecutors spell out how a young abuse victim dressing in provocative clothes was enough for them not to take the case to court.

It states: ‘The victim is known (as highlighted by social workers) to tend to wear sexualised clothes when she is out of school, such as cropped tops.’

‘While her age at the time and the date of the decision are not given, it gives two similarly disturbing examples for prosecutors not proceeding with abuse allegations. One said how a girl’s “unsettled background” made her “far from an ideal victim”’, while another pointed out, “I note her father has referred to her to a social worker as being a slag, saying she is responsible for what has happened”.

Can we be clear about this once and for all - how a girl dresses, how she speaks and how much vodka she's consumed are not invitations for men to rape her. Yet that is precisely what the police, social services and the prosecutors are saying. And, as a result, rapists are getting away with it. These are girls - children - and we've a duty to protect them. We aren't.

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