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Ruth Coppinger TD

A survey carried out by Newstalk has released results stating that half of Irish people would not report rape to the Gardaí if they knew it happened to someone else.

Newstalk’s Women in Ireland Survey shows that while eight out of ten people would report a rape if it was committed against them, when it came to somebody else the reports shifted entirely.

Red C conducted the survey for Newstalk in order to examine sexual violence in the country, and it found that women were significantly less likely to report an incident of rape of someone other than themselves. 

Only four out of ten women said they would report an incident, and six out of ten men, meaning that women are more likely to remain quiet about sexual violence occurring to a friend, acquaintance, family member, or even a stranger.

The survey also found that twice as many women as men have experienced gender discrimination, and three quarters of people would report sexual harassment at work.

The Women in Ireland survey enquired about if participants would report other sexual assault incidences such as groping, indecent exposure, sexual harassment at work or non-consensual touching.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dublin Rape Crisis (@dublinrapecrisis) on

Apparently, three quarters of people would report indecent exposure or sexual harassment while at work, and two thirds of people would give a statement regarding groping to An Garda Síochána.

Regarding discrimination, twice as many women as men said they have experienced prejudicial treatment with younger people.

Interestingly, people who are living in Dublin are evidently more likely to have experienced gender discrimination in their lives.

Overall, the report shows troubling responses from our country, which has had two major rape trial controversies in the last year alone which have shed light on the worrying ways in which our justice system treats sexual assault victims.

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Emotional tributes and forms of creative protest have been occurring worldwide for the 17-year-old woman involved in this week's Cork rape trial, which saw a female barrister use the young woman's underwear as evidence against her.

According to the barrister, the woman's lace thong proved that she was 'open to meeting someone and being with someone', leading to the organisation of mass rallies in support of the victim.

The 27-year-old man accused of raping her in an alleyway was acquitted of rape following barrister's Elizabeth O'Connell's finishing statements.

Among the tributes to the young woman is a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a song, penned by a young woman of similar age to the girl involved:

The video, which was shared on Twitter by her brother John Gaughan, has been steadily gaining in views since it was uploaded.

The lyrics echo the sentiments of outraged women all over the country, who are refusing to accept that underwear can play a part in consent and can also be used as evidence in a court of law.

"What are you wearing underneath? Isn't for you to see unless I want that to be, is that clear?"

"No please, can you stop? That should be enough for you to f*cking wise up, is that clear?"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Peppermint (@i_am_peppermint) on

"Consent is what we're told, at 17-years-old, is what we wear underneath our clothes. Victims become accused of the crime they didn't do, responsibility is abused."

"We shouldn't have to fear for this to happen to us or someone that we love, is that clear?"

"Something has to change with the mindset of today, it's still not clear."

Anger has spread around Ireland as well as in other countries around the world as a result of the latest controversial rape trial.

ROSA and Ruth Coppinger TD have both requested that strikes occur as a form of protest against the handling of sexual violence cases as well as consent and Irish sex education on International Women's Day.

A review of the handling of sexual assault cases in Northern Ireland been released today, stating that members of the public be excluded from such trials following the high profile Belfast case.

The report, written by retired judge John Gillen and states that access to trials involving serious sexual offences should be confined to close family members of the complainant, the defendant as well the media. 

In the Republic of Ireland system, rape trials are already closed to the public. 

It remains to be seen if any positive consequences will occur as a result of the protests, we hope improvements can be made for the sake of sexual assault and rape victims in Ireland.

Feature image: ABC News

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