Rape kit

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Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

i haven't been following the "ched evans" saga in detail, but i'm sure we all got the gist.

i wonder if the problem of how these types of sexual offence are prosecuted can ever really, be fair, to either party?

in a case where the act of sexual intercourse is not in dispute, rather, simply if consent existed, how can anybody, truly satisfy themselves either party is being truthful?

ched evans seems to me like a bit of a cunt, but it doesn't make him a rapist.

and what does consent really even mean? for instance, can it be revoked after the event? does totally inebriated consent mean consent or not?

it seems to be that when it boils down to taking one persons word against another, without any independent verifiable evidence, I cannot see how the issue of consent in these types of situation can be resolved.

i saw a few commentators writing how it was unfair that how in the ched evans case, the victims sexual history was used against her... i agree, it would have to cut both ways if we're going to get into that territory, but even so, I can't see how unpicking somebodies past really gets us closer to a solution (except of couse, in the very rare case where somebody has been proven to have made vexatious complaints in the past).

is there even an answer?
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WillPS
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There isn't a decent solution. The right to anonymity and protection from probing are the least bad option - but they do leave the door open for abuse of the innocent.
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bilky asko
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cwathen
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Of course and absolutely, no means no, and proceeding in any situation where there is any question of consent is wrong. However, I do think it is unfair that we've ended up in a situation where seemingly 100% of the burden (and subsequent liability) is on the guy.

We seem to have got into a situation when a drunken yes might mean no, lack of explicit verbal consent but ripping your clothes off, sucking your dick and not in any way trying to make you stop or appear uncomfortable might mean no, or just plain old subsequent regret after the fact might mean you didn't ask properly at the time and so it may have meant no. Also, if both parties were drunk at the time is it reasonable to expect the guy to be able to judge whether a 'yes' is said with suitable competence to be taken as a yes or not given that the girl apparently is able to say yes but then claim she was too drunk to do so.

Somewhere the line has to be drawn and it agreed that ill-advised sex that one of the parties later wished they didn't have whilst a bit drunk is not at all the same thing as rape, however bad it feels.

However as has been said, there is no adequate solution.
Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

So..... Max Clifford is dead.

Although this case is different to that of Ched Evans, there are some important parallels, the most important that cases like this I think hit at the limits of our justice system.

For victims of crime, justice must be accessible, on the other hand, how can a jury reach a safe verdict about a crime which happened 40 years ago, where there were no witnesses?

I don't know whether Max Clifford was stitched up, or if he was responsible for those truly awful crimes, on the face of it, it seems impossible for anybody to truly know the objective truth, yet we try.

What scares me the most though is the capacity of the police to investigate complex crimes like this with any degree of competence.

The case of the Chillenden Murders which was in the news this week is another case in point, again, Michael Stone was put away without a single shred of forensic evidence, I find the whole case very unsettling.

Have we got the burden of proof balance right?
Alexia
Posts: 2967
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

Probably not, but while we have mob and tabloid and, increasingly recently, social media "justice" in this country, actual justice is a long way down the pegging order.
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