Sunday, March 13, 2016

Quickies: The “Rape Culture” In The United Kingdom

     For British men, things are just as bad as they are for us here:

     Jay Cheshire was cleared of rape in June. Allegations made against the 17-year old were withdrawn by the complainant just weeks after being filed, resulting in the investigation being closed. Yet, two weeks after the teenager was acquitted of the charge - and with his adult life still ahead of him - Jay was discovered hanging from a tree in his local park.

     Note that this young man wasn’t tried and found “not guilty.” Rather, the allegations were withdrawn in their entirety. Yet the consequences of being accused were severe enough to impel him to suicide. In Britain as in America, the system favors the accuser and torments the accused well before any trial of the accusations occurs and long after an acquittal is rendered...indeed, even when no trial ever occurs.

     Here’s another case, this one with a less bleak ending:

     James says his wife accused him of rape as an added bargaining chip in ongoing divorce proceedings: "She told me to back off in the family courts - she was losing the case to have residency of our children. I said I wouldn't. So she went down to the local police station and alleged that she'd been repeatedly raped by me during our marriage."

     Almost immediately, James' life became a nightmarish whirlwind: he was arrested during his twins' 7th birthday party, had various personal effects seized, and was required to attend police stations for interviews in the dead of night.

     James lost residency of his children, resigned from his job and, he says, was pushed to the brink of suicide. However, justice prevailed: the charges against James were dropped within the year.

     "Things did sort of turn out all right," he says. "But not until I had almost ended my life. You will almost certainly feel that the police believe that you're guilty before trial. If you’ve ever needed the assistance of the police before, it will be a very uncomfortable fact to learn that they are no longer there to help you. They are not there to catch the burglar who went through your house. They are not there to investigate the person who cloned your credit card. They are there to investigate you. They have recorded a crime and you are their number one suspect.”

     Accusations of intramarital rape and other forms of spousal abuse are commonplace in divorce actions in the United States. The motive? Often, there’s money at stake. At other times, it might be about child custody or visitation rights. And sometimes, it’s about pure malice. But note this: the accuser is almost never held legally accountable for having done such damage to the accused, though it often proves both catastrophic and irreparable.

     Time was, a false accusation of a felony was deemed a punishable offense, with the sentence proportional to the gravity of the accusation. For example, a provably false accusation of murder, if knowingly made to the authorities, was punishable by life imprisonment. These days, those who lodge false accusations of sexual crimes get off scot free. Such accusers are nearly always women.

     Food for thought for the marriage-minded young man.

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