Posted by: secretperson | August 12, 2008

Rape Compensation Reduction for Drinking Reversed

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has admitted it was wrong to reduce compensation to rape victims who had been drinking. I find it shocking that this situation arose in the first place.

I assume the point of criminal injuries compensation, is to compensate people for the effects of being the victim of a crime, and to help them to deal with the aftermath. I can’t believe it is any easier to cope with having been raped if you had been drinking at the time, there may even be an element of blaming yourself (unfairly) which makes it even harder to deal with. So no grounds there.

The reason is that drink was assumed a ‘contributing factor’. With out wanting to go to the extreme feminist position that to even educate women about keeping themselves safe is to blame them for being a victim, this is ridiculous. Yes women are more vulnerable when drunk, as are men, to any crime. This doesn’t make them culpable for what is a hideous crime, the person responsible is the rapist. Since when has picking on a vulnerable victim made something less of a crime?

Also, in this particular case two officers were disciplined based on the handling of the case, and that can hardly have been affected by the victim having had a few drinks.

Drinking is legal, rape is one of the most disgusting crimes there is. The conviction rate is low, as it is often a case of one person’s word against another’s. But differences in conviction rates between police forces show that how the complaint is handled can have a difference. This poor women had her case handled badly by the police, and then was given reduced compensation and told she was partly to blame. I am glad this ridiculous decision has been overturned, and wish her all the best with the future.

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