Monday 17 December 2018

'Non-violent rape doesn't merit a jail term' - Greer

Germaine Greer: raped when she was 19. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Germaine Greer: raped when she was 19. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Anita Singh

Rape is rarely a violent crime and should be punishable by 200 hours of community service, Germaine Greer has suggested, as she poured scorn on the idea that victims are left with post traumatic stress disorder.

The feminist said the system must be overhauled because few cases that hinge on consent end in a conviction.

And she joked that the most suitable punishment would be for rapists to have an "R" tattooed on the cheek.

Greer was the victim of a rape when she was 19 - a violent attack in which she was repeatedly beaten.

But she told an audience at the Hay Festival: "Most rapes don't involve any injury whatsoever. We are told it's one of the most violent crimes in the world - bullshit. Most rape is just lazy, just careless, just insensitive. Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal right, he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law."

"Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime - and some rapes are - think about it as non-consensual, that is, bad sex.

"Sex where there is no communication, no tenderness, no mention of love. We used to talk about lovemaking."

Greer claimed "the official position now is that 70pc of rape victims suffer PTSD and only 20pc of veterans".

The issue of consent should be removed from prosecutions, Greer said, and some cases could be treated as grievous bodily harm - a crime that carries a lighter sentence and would therefore not prove so off-putting to juries.

"Where it's his word against hers and the penalty is seven years or something, juries won't convict," she said.

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