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"Not Guilty does not mean she lied"

Trigger warning: rape and sexual assault

http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2013/09/n…

This is a great short article about the Michael Le Vell case. For those who don't know, Le Vell is a British actor on popular soap opera Coronation Street, and he was was recently acquitted on charges of raping and sexually assaulting a young girl.

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Because some of the press have used this acquittal to claim that the girl is a liar and that Le Vell was the victim of a witch hunt, the article brings up quite a few important points about rape culture, how we prosecute rape trials, and the myth that false allegations of rape are commonplace. I think this sums it up nicely:

To interpret the outcome of this trial as a case of false allegation is wrong. This obsession with false rape accusations persists because it allows men to rape and sexually assault women with impunity. It helps maintain the illusion that sexual violence is a rare occurrence. And it enhances the stigma suffered by victims, deterring them from seeking justice.

We need to stop treating women and girls who report sexual violence like criminals and start facing up to the reality that too many men - ordinary, everyday men - make the choice to rape and abuse.

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