The Unreliable Victim

Maxwell who was recently found guilty if sex trafficking, is trying to get a retrail on the basis that one of the members of the jury has been a victim of child sexual abuse. That because they have been a victim means they are bias and unreliable on a jury.

We see victims deemed as unreliable consistently. Usually as a victim of the crime they are reporting, the CPS deeming them unreliable witnesses to their own experiences and that a jury wouldn’t believe. Both on and off the jury that label sticks.

So why does this matter? Well with the Victim Focus research finding that 99% of women experienced sexual offences against them, it begs the question if a jury of peers is then possible. With over half the population used to sexual offences against them meaning they are deemed unfit to be on a jury, does that leave a jury of perpetrators and enablers?

How fair is it for victims of sexual offences to be excluded from being part of the justice process?

Are we also asking have you ever been accused and so you have to be removed? Do you watch underage and violent pornography? Have you seen but not reported revenge porn? No. We’re not asking those questions…

Is it that all victims will automatically hate anyone accused?

Are we pretending someone previously accused wouldn’t sympathise with the accused in the dock?

It seems, as ever, victims are the ones on trial.

A jury of peers….but what kind of peers? Ones that laugh at rape jokes? That think upskirting is no big deal? Who grew up in a home where there was domestic abuse? Whose football coach abused them?

Victim’s have not had a lack of moral judgement. I find it odd that we seem to judge those who had no choice more than ones that made choices knowing it would harm others. Perhaps it’s time to balance to scales on who judges us and why.

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