Friday, November 01, 2013

A Top Woman Barrister in the UK claims that rape victims are also responsible for the crime!!

This is a sad story indeed, especially since it involves a woman and also a woman at such a top position. How can a woman become another woman's enemy? Really rape victims are responsible? So, because I have lots of electronic gadgets and computers and laptops in my house, and it gets robbed, I am responsible for the crime?? I know what your answer will be as I have heard this argument before also -- if you leave the house open without any protection, then definitely I am also in fault if my house gets robbed. Okay, I understand and agree that perhaps women should not walk late at night in some remote, empty areas. But, most of the rapes happen during dating and/or partying. So, I guess if I am to follow the barrister's logic, I should not be dating; also, I should not be going to parties and drinking and having fun; because if I am raped there, I will be responsible for the crime just like IF SOMEONE'S VALUABLE GETS STOLEN IN THE PARTY, SHE OR HE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT CRIME.

The whole story can be read here.

This statement from a woman barrister begets disbelief. Most of us women are working hard against prejudices and beliefs to establish ourselves, to pay bills, to look after families, and here comes the statement from someone of my gender. So, I also have to publish the whole story here:

Rape victims can be partly responsible for what happened to them, according to a leading lawyer. Barbara Hewson, a human rights and civil liberties barrister at London's Hardwicke Chambers, challenged the idea that 'the victim is utterly innocent and the victimiser is utterly guilty'. Miss Hewson, who describes herself on Twitter as 'not for the easily offended', suggested that people who are raped can have a 'moral responsibility' for the crime, even though the law says that rape is only ever the fault of the rapist. She also questioned whether 'claims of victimisation must always be respected', according to The Daily Telegraph. Miss Hewson, 52, made the comments during a debate with other legal professionals at the London School of Economics on Wednesday, entitled 'Is Rape Different?' She said: 'We need to make a distinction between legal responsibility and moral responsibility. 'The law does not attribute any responsibility now to the victim of rape whereas traditionally we know the judge would say when they came to sentence "well she was contributorally [sic] negligent" or something like that.' While outlining what she views as the received wisdom when discussing, Miss Hewson dismissed the idea 'that it's morally absolutely unambiguous, the victim is utterly innocent and the victimiser is utterly guilty and this is infinitesimal. And finally that claims of victimisation must always be respected, anything less is victim-blaming.' More... Rape survivors bravely confront their fears by publicly sharing details of their darkest moment in courageous photo project that uses their attackers' own words against them Freedom in Egypt? It just gave men the freedom to rape me in Tahrir Square: As violence erupts in Cairo, woman attacked by a gang in demonstration recounts her ordeal 'Rape in America is an epidemic': Brave rape victim speaks up about her ordeal to help others after she was attacked by man outside her dorm 'because he was bored' Miss Hewson compared a rape victim to somebody who falls over whilst drunk to demonstrate that people can put themselves in a situation where they are more likely to fall victim to a crime. She also attacked a culture around rape which encourages people to 'realise' they have been raped, and added that some victims go on to blame their ordeal for everything that goes wrong in their life. Debate: Miss Hewson made her comments at a London School of Economics event entitled 'Is Rape Different?' Debate: Miss Hewson made her comments at a London School of Economics event entitled 'Is Rape Different?' Rape Crisis spokesman Fiona Elvines condemned Miss Hewson's argument, telling the Telegraph: 'Barbara Hewson shows how out of touch she is with the realities of sexual violence. As a society, we have moved on from the rape myths she continues to propagate.' Miss Hewson, a Cambridge graduate who has worked as a barrister since 1985, has courted controversy on sexual offences before, by attacking the decision to double the sentence for broadcaster Stuart Hall. His original sentence of 15 months in prison for 14 counts of indecent assault was increased to 30 months after a public outcry. She has also previously called for the age of consent to be lowered to 13 and criticised the 'witch-hunt' of ageing celebrities accused of sexual abuse. Miss Hewson was unavailable for comment this morning. A LAW UNTO HERSELF: THE CONTROVERSIAL BARRISTER WHO'S NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK HER MIND Barbara Hewson has made a name for herself both as one of the country's most respected lawyers, and as someone not afraid to ruffle some feathers with her outspoken views. A member of the prestigious Hardwicke Chambers, Miss Hewson, who was called to the bar in 1985, is regularly ranked in the Legal 500 directory. She has won a Barrister of the Year award from The Lawyer magazine after she fought for the rights of pregnant women against compulsory treatment. The Chambers UK guide has variously described her as ‘bright, committed and passionate’, ‘well-respected’, ‘highly diplomatic’ and ‘a tough opponent’. She writes on legal issues for the Spiked website, and is often highly critical of the establishment. Miss Hewson has stepped into the firing line on numerous occasions in the past. Responding to the controversial case in which a judge described a 13-year-old sex attack victim as ‘predatory’, she tweeted: ‘It takes two to tango. Disgusting tho' these men are, frankly the girls are often not much better - and no shrieking martyrs.' She has also said that operation Yewtree, into sex abuse linked to Jimmy Savile, ‘has got out of hand’ and was hijacked by ‘moral crusaders’. A storm of criticism met that suggestion, and she has also angered the NPCC by suggesting at the same time that the age of consent be lowered to 13. At the time an NSPCC spokesman said: ‘To trivialise the impact of these offences for victims is all but denying they have suffered abuse at all.’

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