England, Wales Decide Against Providing Protection for Convicted Rapists

July 26, 2010

Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems; photo credit David Spender via Wikimedia Commons.

UK (ChattahBox) – A law that should never been introduced in the first place, men living in England and Wales will not be able to seek anonymity under the protection of the courts.

Massive protests led to the withdraw of a proposed law, which would allow men accused or convicted of sexual assault to be anonymous, an action that many feared would make it easier for them to offend again.

It had been slipped in at the last minute, a part of the coalition agreement, and likely from the Lib Dem side. The small party has long since supported making it illegal to name rapists, for fear of those wrongly accused receiving a damaging stigma that was unwarranted.

While the technical reason for the creation of the attempted law is understandable, within that context, the possibility for far-reaching protection for the majority of convicted men, who were guilty, is horrifying.

The way it was handled has especially gained critical attention, such as by Harriet Harman, a Labour MP.

“It is really lamentable that they could think of something as important as prosecuting rape, that they should just do a proposal on the back of an envelope.  I mean, it is a very serious offence and they should not just dream up a proposal and bring it forward without thinking about it. Rape is too serious for that,” she told the BBC.

A compromise has been struck, and media sources will be discouraged from publishing the names of those accused, but not yet convicted, of sexual assault.


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