A while back, I wrote about the effects of the passive voice and agent deletion in media reporting of sexual violence, in Passive Aggression: Foregrounding the Object.
An article in the UK Telegraph hit me between the eyes today: Four out of 10 rape victims intoxicated.
Nearly four out of 10 female rape victims had been drinking before the assault, Home Office research revealed yesterday.
Alcohol appeared to be most significant in assaults by strangers.
The overall conviction rate for rape among a total of 676 cases across the eight areas was six per cent – the same as the figure for England and Wales.
Some police forces were more successful at reducing the likelihood that a victim would withdraw their complaint, the research found.
I thought I’d have a go at re-activising it:
“Forty percent of rapists target women and girls who have been drinking before they sexually assault them, Home Office research revealed yesterday.
Men who raped women and girls they didn’t know were particularly likely to rape drunk victims.
Some police forces were more successful at increasing the likelihood that a victim would withdraw her complaint, the research found.”
Does it have a different effect, to you?
And in case you were thinking that men don’t actively victim-blame in the media nowadays, the execrable Daily Mail published this story by misogynistic rape apologist James Slack. Prepare your barf bag.
The findings are the latest evidence to suggest there could be a link between binge-drinking and claims of sexual assault.
Only 6 per cent of cases ended in a conviction for rape, and a further 7 per cent for lesser sexual offences. Police “no crimed” 15 per cent of cases – meaning officers decided they could not proceed and did not record the allegation as a crime. This was usually after the victim withdrew her complaint or because police felt she lacked credibility due to inconsistencies in her story or factors such as alcohol consumption.
A further 8 per cent were found to be false allegations, while 39 per cent of cases which police went on to investigate collapsed because the woman withdrew her support for the prosecution. The most common reasons women gave for this were that they did not want to appear in court or wanted to “move on”.
Even though women were most likely to be raped on the weekend, most complaints were made on a Tuesday.
Under plans published last month, ministers want judges to give firmer guidance to juries in cases where the woman has been drinking. If a woman is deemed to have consumed so much alcohol that she is incapable of agreeing to have sex, the man would be far more likely to be convicted of rape. The plan could open the way for the prosecution of thousands of men for having sex with drunk women – regardless of whether agreement had been given at the time.