Friday, October 20, 2006

It's About Time...

This has me so excited. It's such a giant leap forward in UK rape legislation. What shocked me was the information that only 5% of alleged rapists are convicted. I don't know why but I thought the number would be bigger. I really shouldn't be surprised. Now we have to work on convincing the general public that drunk women aren't fair game for rapists.

I wanted to blog about this amazing little story last month but it felt too raw then so I left it alone. Tonight it seems somehow appropriate.

Some twelve years ago my friend was brutally assaulted by a stranger. She was walking her dog in a field close to her home. A man grabbed her and threatened to kill her, then subjected her to an horrific sex attack. When she staggered away and called for help I went to be with her. I wasn't allowed to hold and comfort her because her clothes were evidence and I might have contaminated them. I was allowed to stand with her as she undressed and I bagged her clothes and passed them to a policeman. I remember thinking how small and shattered she was. And how humiliating for her to be naked and vulnerable in front of strangers. It was a terrible day.

This year they caught him! Twelve years later his DNA from another case gave him up. He is now serving three to six years and it isn't nearly enough but it's something. And I almost can't believe it. But it's true.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What shocked me was the information that only 5% of alleged rapists are convicted.

It's even lower than 5% - that figure just applies to rapes reported to the police. Still, it's 500% better than the domestic violence conviction rate in the UK...

stormcloud said...

Actually, the DV and rape conviction rates are about the same, just a tad over 5% for both. That is of course, only 5.x% of the REPORTED incidents.

If it the convictions were put into context of total offences, (both reported and unreported) - lets just say they'd be the equivalent of a microdot.

Anonymous said...

No - the conviction rate for dv is actually only just over 1%. Less than 3% of cases even make it to court.

You may be confusing sanction detections with convictions - the sanction detection rate is around 5% but about 80% of that is cautions not convictions.

And on top of that, recent research found that the police under-record dv crimes by 50%...