Tuesday 16 October 2018

Colette Browne: 'Locker-room talk' indicative of demeaning attitude to women

Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA
Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

IN the wake of the not-guilty verdicts that were handed down in Belfast Crown Court this week, there is a real danger that victims of sexual violence will opt not to report those crimes.

According to Women’s Aid Northern Ireland, they have already had numerous calls from victims of rape “who have stated that they will not report to police or engage with the criminal justice and court system because of what they have seen the woman be put through during the course of the trial”. 

Those who have followed the case over its gruelling nine weeks have seen the complainant’s right to anonymity be attacked, learned of voyeurs turning up to court in the hopes of hearing salacious details of that infamous night in June 2016 first-hand, and heard details of a eight-day cross-examination in which four senior counsel robustly tested the complainant’s evidence. 

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