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Rape figures do not show real impact
[Posted: Thu 13/07/2006 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
Figures which appear to show a decline in the number of rapes being committed in Ireland should be treated with caution, as they do not paint the full picture, the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) has warned.
According to new figures released by the Department of Justice, the number of (female) rapes recorded in the second quarter of 2006 was 64. During the same period last year, that figure was 87.
The number of rapes under section 4 also fell from 29 in the second quarter of last year to 18 this year. (This type of rape refers to penetration of the anus or mouth by the penis or penetration of the vagina by an object held by another person.)
Cases of unlawful carnal knowledge, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault also fell.
However speaking to irishhealth.com, Cliona Saidlear of the RCNI, emphasised that these figures do not reflect the reality of rape.
"Research indicates that only one in 10 people who are raped report it to the Gardai. Furthermore, 50% tell nobody at all. In terms of the crime figures released, the figures on rape probably least reflect the actual impact of that crime", Ms Saidlear said.
She highlighted the high attrition rate associated with rape. This refers to cases that are never resolved, for example if the victim pulls out of the investigative process or if the DPP is sent a file but decides not to pursue a criminal prosecution.
"Just four in 10 cases that are sent to the DPP will reach the court stage. With rape, people drop out at every stage of the legal process", she added.
|Anonymous Posted: 13/07/2006 17:02|
|I think it is indicative of how badly rape victims are treated by the authorities that is reflected in the number of reportings.|
|Fiona(fionarb) Posted: 14/07/2006 09:39|
|I'm sure the figures are false - fewer women report rape because it's almost impossible to bring a successful prosecution. Even if there is a conviction, the sentences are not so great as to encourage women to participate in the process. Child rapists must think of this country as a paradise - the recent case of Mr A failed in almost every report to highlight the laughable sentence he received in the first place, let alone the indecent haste of our judiciary to release him.|
|Brian Posted: 14/07/2006 11:14|
|Speaking from experience I can state that repe is extremely difficult to prove before a jury.Unless there are independent witnesses, which is rare, juries invariably give the benefit of the doubt to the accused. The victim's previous history and background are not explored and rightly so, but neither is the accused's background. For this reason many previously convicted rapists are acquitted on subsequent charges. I believe one facility a victim should have is the right to permit questioning into her past, which would also allow the prosecution to question the accused on his past.|
|fifi Posted: 14/07/2006 13:23|
|I wonder if a man was raped would his sexual past be brought into question? I doubt it very much... still the same old Ireland where you are a stud if you are male & get around but a slut if you are female and do the same. Double standards. Nothing changes.|
|Andra Posted: 14/07/2006 14:31|
|Of course a womens past should be brought up in court. I find it crazy that it isn't. A women for example in court on her 5th occasion accusing a man of rape is simply suspicious. Here we go again though with rape statistics. All these rape crisis centres are funded alot of money so when it is made public that there really is no rape crisis and that the little rape (actual rape) that does occer is really a very small amount these rape crisis centres start complaining that the figures are lying .... they have to say that to keep there funding!! 29 rapes in the last quarter is low and instead of celebrating that it is so low these feminist driven organisations are complaining!! Go figure.... Bad news when the rape stats are high bad news when the rape stats are low?? Well frankly I find that suspicious too.|
|Elaine B. Posted: 15/07/2006 18:59|
|To Andra- Isn't one rape, one rape too far. Regardless of the gender of the victim, surely to goodness it is a dreadful crime against humanity. We do not need statistics to prove how inhuman it is.|
|Patricia(GMC11099) Posted: 04/09/2008 14:15|
|The problem is that the sentences handed down are not severe enough to prove a deterrent. Rape is an assault on the person, in the same way as striking or beating up a person is an assault. What should the past have to do with it? P|
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