Women Protest After A Teen's Choice Of Underwear Was Used Against Her In Rape Trial
As well as the reaction on Twitter a series of protests over sexual consent have been taking place all over Ireland, just a week after a man was acquitted of raping the 17-year-old.
During the trial, according to the Irish Examiner, a defence lawyer told the jury: "You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front."
Counsel for man acquitted of rape suggested jurors should reflect on underwear worn by the 17yo complainant. Following this wholly unacceptable comment, we are calling on our followers to post a picture of their thongs/knickers to support her with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/ZkVU0GVAIN
- I Believe Her - Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 10, 2018
In response to the defence lawyer using the teen's underwear in their closing statement Twitter has been flooded with women sharing pictures of their underwear in solidarity and to say 'although they are wearing it they are not asking for it'.
Initiated by a private Facebook group, the message was then spread by Susan Dillon, a member of the group who also runs the Twitter account I Believe Her - Ireland.
Just beacuse my panties are cute doesn't mean i'm saying yes #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/rakf2HXQNv
- Em (@lilthumper408) November 13, 2018
Susan told the Irish Independent: "One of the women in the group was angry at the comments made, as we all were.
"Irrespective of the other evidence... no item of the complainant's clothing implied consent.
These are all mine, I wear them all. And I can wear them wherever and whenever I want to, it's not for anyone but ME. It's not an invitation.#ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/beS2gdsIm8
- ToanPlays (@ToanPlays) November 14, 2018
"If a jury is a representative sample of the population, then it's clear we have some work to do to dispel this archaic myth that clothing invites rape."
Taking to Twitter women shared pictures of their hipsters, thongs, full briefs and boxers to prove that none of them mean yes.
Most of my underwear has lace on it. No matter what I wear, NO means NO! #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/JjKmcJ6Wia
- Kristine Larsen (@KristineLarse11) November 15, 2018
One user wrote: "Clothes are not consent. A thong is not consent. Therefore, this should not be used as evidence of consent in court."
Another added: "This topic gets to me because it doesn't matter what underwear the victim was wearing. Lace, no lace, thong or no thong or nothing at all, if the victim doesn't consent, it's rape. Absolutely disgusting, I'm heartbroken this needs to change."
A third user said: "Imagine putting on a nice pair of underwear to make you feel good and then getting told you asked to be raped because of it?"
Also pointing out that sometimes women like to make themselves feel good just for themselves, a fourth user wrote: "Wearing sexy underwear doesn't justify rape. We women wear things to feel sexy for ourselves. That doesn't mean that anyone can just use us for his own pleasure without our agreement."
I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dáil. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it's within the rules, hence need to display in Dáil. Join protests tomorrow. In Dublin it's at Spire, 1pm.#dubw #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/DvtaJL61qR
- Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) November 13, 2018
She argued: "It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here... how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court?"
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