The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott (no relation) has a piece up today where he attempts to ‘clarify’ the statistics on rape convictions – Open door: The fair use of facts on rape, which, from my reading of it, doesn’t really clarify anything.

Take this bit for instance about the 6.5% conviction rate figure :

“The reader said: “This is wrong on both counts. About 13% of reported rapes result in a conviction, not 6.5%, and you have in fact pointed out this mistake several times in your Corrections and clarifications column.”

Indeed that’s true says Elliott, the Guardian has corrected that figure in the past, but, he goes on to say:

“it is a little more complicated than that, as some work by my colleague Leslie Plommer nearly two years ago, which became a Guardian editorial guidance note, reveals: ” … the formulation that is correct, and should be our standard, is: ‘In England and Wales, about 13% of reported rapes end in a conviction.‘ We could elaborate: ‘That is, conviction on a range of charges from rape to lesser offences such as sexual assault and others.’ The body of evidence for the 13% is far from extensive, but … it is the finding of the most authoritative and up to date (2007) study commissioned by the Home Office on what the outcomes are for reported rapes … What about the 6.5% conviction rate we often cite: eg, Only 6.5% of reported rapes end in a conviction? Certainly we are free to use the 6.5% – but have to signal clearly that this represents a narrower body of convictions … those on the charge of rape itself.”

So basically what he’s saying is that the Guardian has in the past and will continue to ‘correct’ pieces that say that only 6.5% of reported rapes end in the rapist being convicted of rape, even though that statement is essentially true….

Moving on from all that muddle though, I doubt if anyone who reads this blog regularly will be surprised to learn that the very first comment on the thread that follows Elliott’s article focuses on how “A rape accusation will destroy lives, let alone conviction….” or that the rest of the comments pretty much flow on from that, with the predominantly male CiF commentariat leaping to the defence of men who are accused of rape and pinning all the blame for all the ills of the world on so-called rape liarsand feminists.

Now contrast that great big steaming pile of rape apologist shite with this thread on Mumsnet – The (entirely unofficial) MN rape and sexual assault survey RESULTS. And if you can, have a read of the narrative responses to the (entirely unofficial) survey hereNarrative responses.

And then see if you can work out how to get every fucker who posts comments on t’Internet to the effect that ‘everyone knows women lie about rape and what about all those poor poor innocent men’ to read the Mumsnet piece.

Because trust me, I’ve tried, but the best I could come up with was tattooing the (entirely unofficial) MN survey onto  the insides of the misogynists’ eyelids, and somehow I don’t think that’s entirely practicable. Well, not yet it’s not anyway.

The Rape Crisis National Freephone Helpline is open from 12-2.30pm & 7-9.30pm every day of the year: you can call them on 0808 802 9999

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