Editorials Comment

Rape is nothing to do with the EU

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Image: Chatham House

The ever-contentious Nigel Farage has once again decided to twist reality simply to serve his own warped agenda. The UKIP leader had been reported saying that staying in the EU could lead to "migrant sex attacks" becoming a regular occurrence in the UK.

It's deplorable that a so-called political leader would use the horrible experiences of sexual abuse survivors to score a moot political point at such a pivotal time in the EU referendum debate.

This is victim-blaming to the next level. If someone is sexually assaulted or raped by a non-UK citizen, is it because the survivor did not vote to leave the EU? Is it because, as Farage implies, we didn't stop hordes of migrants flooding to our shores?

No. Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone and the reason for it never lies with the survivor. It is wholly the perpetrator who is to blame.

Given that 90 per cent of survivors know their perpetrator according to statistics from Rape Crisis England and Wales, you'd think that people in this country are in more danger at home with the people they know, than with strangers from other countries. So maybe instead of putting the onus on voters to vote leave to protect themselves from assault, Farage should get a reality check and follow his own message of dealing with domestic policy issues.

Only 5.7 per cent of cases end with a conviction for the perpetrator, and this damning statistic needs to be rectified, and soon. No wonder that it's so difficult for survivors to get taken seriously, with most reporting historic cases. The fear of their experience not being believed is enough for some survivors to stay silent. Instead of diminishing their voices and reducing their experiences to political soundbites to help their cause, people like Farage should actually do something about this very serious crime.

Stop your xenophobic scaremongering and make the criminal justice system fairer for survivors of sexual assault and rape.

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1 Comment

Thomas of UKIP Posted on Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Now, this is a bit of a strawman to declare it "victim blaming" , even the head of a German Rape crisis charity says that they are dealing with higher instances of demand for their services , coinciding with the migrant crisis.
We also have now got a case where the BBC and police appeared to have covered up a sexual assault charge in the Newcastle area apparently , due to one of the alleged perpetrators being a Syrian refugee. We clearly do have to address the fact that there are some people coming into Europe with less than pleasant views on women's rights (and that's putting it mildly) , and we shouldn't cover such crimes up based on where the accused are from because of political correctness.
With all that said I do agree partially that the major issue with immigration is not to do with instances like Cologne, but rather to do with unskilled immigration from Europe saturating the workforce and leading to a downwards trend in wages in poorer areas of the country.
Also I should emphasise that if 5.7% of cases end in a conviction, we should not assume that the other 94.3% of accused are guilty. We can never be sure of the number that go unreported (as that stat can always be made out of thin air) , and the other two instances where no conviction would arise(arrested, not charged and charged, not convicted) are caused by the person being found innocent of the crime by trial, or a lack of evidence to succeed in conviction in the police's mind.
If we want to make criminal justice system fairer for victims, we should believe them in the sense that they should get the support from trained rape counselors etc. However we should NEVER assume the accused is guilty until they are convicted, as that goes against all principles of our justice system. An accusation of such a nature can ruin an innocent person's life (see the rather high profile false accusation of Harvey Proctor at the hands of a fantasist ) , and it is not reasonable for a victim to assume the person who they have accused is to be treated like a criminal until they are found guilty.


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