This is probably going to be the most controversial post I am ever going to write (and I’ve sailed close to controversy on a few occasions). I will do my best to ensure I do not cause offence and make clear what I am saying and not saying.
If you were to ask me which organisations I detest the most I would answer, The BNP (and all other far right parties) and Women Against Rape. So why, you might ask, does a charity whose main aim to provide support for (female) victims of rape of sexual abuse so high on the list?
There is no doubt in my mind, nor will there ever be, that rape is one of the most horrific crimes it is possible to be a victim of. I can only begin to imagine the feelings of violation and self disgust the victim must feel, compounded by the need to relive the ordeal when reporting it to the police. It goes without saying that rape victims must receive counselling and as much support as possible. Of course the attackers must be brought to justice and removed from society. But herein lies the problem.
Rape is, unfortunately, a very difficult case to prove. If a woman claims she was raped and her alleged attacker claims the sex was consensual who do you believe? It’s a lose lose situation for a juror in such a situation because you commit an injustice either way. Equally unfortunately our justice is founded on the principle that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty and that it is better that ten guilty people should walk free than one innocent person be convicted.
Women Against Rape, to their shame, cannot appreciate this simple principle. It is true that due to the unique nature of rape (ie the burden of proof involved) many rapists escape justice. The line between justice and vengeance is a thin one. Women Against Rape would prefer that any man tainted ever so slightly with an accusation of rape is locked away, simply to satisfy their lust for vengeance. Take a look at their website. How much of it is devoted to conspiracy theories about justice and how much there is about helping victims rebuild their lives (which is surely still necessary even if their attacker is convicted).
Which leads me on to the most emotive issue in this debate and one which Women Against Rape have spent the best part of their existence trying to dodge. What happens in the (admittedly rare) instances when a malicious accusation of rape is made? Women Against Rape argue that these cases are so rare they don’t really alter the debate. Now to an extent, they have a point. However Women Against Rape discredit and shame themselves by refusing to consider the men at the other end of such accusations as victims – on the flimsy grounds that being falsely accused is hardly the same as being raped. By the same logic a black eye is hardly the same as a knife wound in the belly; that doesn’t stop the punched person being a victim.
More disgracefully Women Against Rape fill their site with articles that question the innocence of the wrongly accused. If I was to write on this blog questioning the motives of the woman in a successful rape prosecution or even the guilt of the convicted there would be outrage. Yet Women Against Rape do this routinely and get away with it by trying to divert attention towards genuine rape victims (which is surely taking advantage of those they are supposed to be supporting).
I will re-iterate this so that there are no misunderstandings. This post is not intended to insult victims of rape (and men can be victims of rape and abuse also – another point Women Against Rape could do with acknowledging). It is an attack on a supposed charity that uses its charitable status as a smokescreen for feminism and anti male rhetoric.
If anybody involved with Women Against Rape reads this I will happily give them right of reply.