Thursday, May 2, 2013

Overwhelming public support favors anonymity for men and boys accused of rape; rape victims' advocates cry 'victim blaming' and other non sequiturs

We were under the impression that the notion of anonymity for people accused of sexual assault was a divisive issue that had strong support on both sides.

We were wrong. A poll sponsored by The Independent in the UK shows overwhelming support for anonymity. Three out of four people believe that people accused of rape and other sexual assaults should have their identities protected until they are convicted. Some 76 percent of people agree with the statement that “people accused of sexual assault should be given anonymity until they are proven guilty,” while only 18 percent disagree, and six per cent don't know.

Beyond that, there is essentially no difference between the two sexes on the issue. 74 percent of women and 78 percent of men support anonymity for such defendants. Liberal Democrat supporters (95 per cent) are more likely to back anonymity than Conservative (76 per cent) and Labour supporters (75 per cent).

According to this poll, the UK is not divided on this issue. If the people had their way, men and boys accused of vile sex crimes would be anonymous unless and until they were found guilty.  The fact that the overwhelming will of the people is ignored is a testament to the power of the feminist lobby in the UK.

For reasons she was not able to articulate in a rational manner, Jill Saward, a rape victims' advocate, said she was “incredibly sad” about the poll.  “People say 'innocent until guilty.' That is fine if you are not the person who has been assaulted.”

No, Saward, the presumption of innocence is "fine" under any circumstance, because it is an essential pillar of freedom.

Saward continued: "I am very sad that people seem to think that protecting men is often more important than protecting those who for whatever reason end up as victims.” She said such a change in the law would amount to “victim blaming.”

Saward's irrational comments are an intolerable affront to the community of the wrongly accused. "Victim blaming" is a non sequitur, a mantra ham-handedly tossed into the melee to garner emotional support.

Saward thinks that granting anonymity to men and boys accused of rape would be a victory for rapists because it would spare them the punishment of public disgrace unless they are convicted. In Saward's world, the punishment should start before the trial, due process be damned, and to hell with the innocents whose good names are dragged through the mud.

We previously dispelled every lame, puerile argument that Saward and similar folks have mounted on this subject: The Case for Anonymity for Men and Boys Accused of Rape: The Final Word. Saward's arguments aren't premised on reason, logic, facts, or common sense but on raw, angry feelings of gender get-evenism. That is scarcely a valid justification to override the overwhelming will of the people.