Monday, February 13, 2012

Ireland's Shame

I found this piece incredibly distressing. Ireland's court system needs to be thoroughly overhauled when it comes to prosecuting rape.

This is the headline:

Alleged rape victim arrested in Ireland for refusal to testify. Eastern European woman was told by judge to stand in front of three accused and point out her alleged assailants.

The victim was forced to stand in front of the accused and identify them.

But that wasn't all.

The men, who have not been named for legal reasons, were acquitted last week of rape, false imprisonment and assault. But campaigners have condemned the treatment of the woman, who was told by the judge, Mr Justice Paul Carney, to stand directly in front of the three accused and point out her alleged assailants.

The woman, who is from eastern Europe, became so distressed that lawyers later complained they had feared she might collapse in court. When she failed to appear in court the next day, a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Police officers found the woman at her home, where she had apparently attempted suicide, but after receiving medical treatment she was arrested and spent a day in the jail cells of Dublin's Four Courts

Yes, she was put in jail. The victim was put on trial. In the interim she also attempted suicide.

Read more about it here in The Guardian.

"One of the main reasons for this high fallout rate is because complainants decide not to put themselves through what they say is a re-victimising experience."

And based on personal experience and anecdotal data, 90% of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported exactly for these reasons.

Shame on you Ireland!


  1. Appalling. The treatment of rape victims by the authorities is still barbaric in many cases. And as the quote says, going to court is often just as traumatic as the original experience.

  2. I think this also says volumes about Irish bigotry. Why else mention that she is from Eastern Europe?????

  3. and shame on the men who uphold this kind of justice.

    But then Ireland is a very religious country and the woman "probably asked for it". Hateful, absolutely hateful.

  4. It pains me that things are so dire in Ireland which is supposed to be a civilized country. Id this still the influence of the catholic church speaking? It sounds like a very anti female environment.

  5. This is so crass, even beyond what we are accustomed to in the good old U.S.A.

  6. Nick,
    Awful to think 95% of rapes do not get reported.
    Absolutely, double jeopardy for the victim, a furrener to boot.
    It breaks one's heart.
    It is a patriarchal society. Still.
    I agree. Standing and facing your rapists? Unheard of.

  7. I read the news and had exactly the same reaction as you. This is totally bizarre that the victim is made into another victim by the state!

  8. It's not just in Ireland. Even here in Canada, the law is still sometimes twisted in favour of the offender and not the victim. Check out Michele Landsberg's book Writing the Revolution if you aren't afraid your guts will churn in anger over this kind of crap still going on in our so-called modern country's courtrooms. It makes me fume!!

  9. Michele Landsberg? Wow!! I thought that old Tricoteuse had died.
    Since there is little difference between the oldest and the second oldest professions dont expect in some countries that governments will come down hard on rapists.

  10. Groan......Ireland appears to be in a time warp in this respect. But, if ultra-right-wing idiots here in the USA had their way we'd not be far behind if behind at all.
    cf The Handmaid's Tail ???

  11. Sorry - should be Handmaid's Tale.
    Typing without light on! Or brain connected.


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