British Judges Free Child Rapists, Say 12-Year-Old Girls “Wanted” Sex

In March, six British soccer players confessed to gang-raping two 12-year-old girls and were sentenced to two years behind bars. But last week, an Appeal Court overturned the sentence, and all of the men were freed.

The reasoning? “The girls wanted to have sex,” said Lord Justice Moses, who was among the deciding judges. “And they had pretty miserable, fleeting sex in a freezing cold park.”

News reports suggest that one of the girls had been communicating with the men via text message and asked them to meet her and a friend in a park. Once there, she was raped by five of the men; her friend was raped by one. The girls were later found wandering alone at 2:20 am after one of their mothers called the police to report them missing.

Despite the fact that both girls were well under the age of consent (which in England is 16 years old), their apparent “want” for sex (and the poor quality of that sex) waived this law in the judges’ eyes.

The implications of the decision are severe: “The judges have set a highly dangerous precedent by suggesting that raping vulnerable children is not punishable by the severest sentencing,” said British anti-rape activist Jill Saward.

The judges claimed that the men’s “frank confessions” about the rapes affirmed their “positive good character” and showed that they were genuinely duped into sex. The girls had lied about their ages, saying they were 16 on Facebook, and were dressed to appear older.

But should men who admit to rape-by-mistake be let off the hook?

For Saward, the answer is absolutely not: “If there is any doubt, men should say no.”

She added, “[The girls] aren’t even old enough to have Facebook accounts, and using the belief that by having Facebook they are old enough is a disgrace.” Plus, the minimum age for Facebook users is only 13 years old.

But this is not a new argument. In case after case, rapists are let off the hook with apologies and excuses: The girls were dressed provocatively, the women were drinking, women lie about rape, there was “sex in the air.” In law, it seems, no one ever “means” to rape–it’s always an accident, or the fault of the woman.

However, research has shown that most rapists are serial rapists–and those serial rapists commit 90 to 95 percent of all rapes. What’s more likely–that these repeat perpetrators just happen to get “tricked” by underage women or receive “mixed messages” from unconsenting women, again and again–or that the overwhelming majority of rapes aren’t really committed “by accident”?

In Stephanie Hallett’s feature in the new issue of Ms., she suggests one simple strategy for stopping serial rapists. To learn more, subscribe to Ms. today and get the latest issue delivered straight to your door. Find out what government and law enforcement can do to reduce the incidence of rape.

Image from Flickr user glennharper under Creative Commons 2.0

Comments

  1. Wow!!!! I’m sick to my stomach and terrified for my children! What is this world coming to?

  2. A.L. Noble says:

    This is dreadful. It is reminiscent of the Texas case, though the incident sounds as if it may have been somewhat more brief. How can a grown man (the judge) think that a 12 year old can EVER meaningfully consent to or invite sex???

  3. C. P. Hogle says:

    I think it is time for the PM & Parliament to find a new Lord Head Justice. That ruling is absolutely vulgar and flies completely against the age of consent laws.

  4. BK Jill says:

    I’m not saying these guys are innocent. Nor am I saying they should have been released. But why is it always the women who are provocatively-dressed and heavily drinking who get raped? Why is it always the women who are desperate for male attention? The ones with low self-esteem and questionable histories. You made the observation that rapists are usually serial rapists. But then is it fair to say that there are women who are serial victims? Women with a history of sexual abuse. Women who fit a certain profile.

    • My friend was raped by 12 men at a party although she was drunk I am certain she didn’t anticipate being ganged raped and it being filmed oh and she was only 16 she shouldn’t of been out but was does it honestly matter what she was doing that led up to the act ???? NO I bet if a man got raped by 12 navel officers it would be a different story… This is total bs the men admitted to raping the girls who cares I they were 85 they still were raped

      • BK Jill says:

        What happened to your friend is horrible, but let’s address the fact that she probably has a serious drinking problem. Drinking to the point of losing control is a sign of alcoholism. If she’s hanging out with guys who like to gang rape women, it’s also a pretty good bet she has been abused before. And that is why she is such a bad judge of character. As long she ignores this fact, she will always be vulnerable to predators. She needs treatment, not outrage.

        • Cassandra says:

          Lisa, I’m sorry for your friend. :( And I believe that whatever she did that night still doesn’t make it okay for what happened to her. Jill, why are we not saying “you should get help” to the men who prey on vulnerable women and children. Women as a community do suggest this to their own. We’re outraged because we’re sending the wrong message again and again, that it’s okay for men to rape vulnerable women…and now apparently 12 year old girls. I am trying to understand your point, and yes I agree that some women, and particularly these two 12 y/o children need some guidance and stability, but this is not the platform to address the issue because it just reinforces the point that silences women who have been raped.

          Another thing that I am outraged over in general about what this article is pointing out is that the Lord Justice thought these girls wanted sex?! First of all, rape is never about sex, but about using sex to overpower someone. When you look at it that way, what these men did to these girls is just disgusting because who are two 12 y/o girls to a group of grown men. Wanted it, or simply didn’t have a choice? Disgusting. Absolutely revolting. Way to go Lord Justice…”justice”. Smdh.

          • We’s not saying “you should get help” to rapists because one or more of the following reasons:
            * We don’t know who they are. If we did they’d be in jail.
            * We do say it to them, but they aren’t here to listen.
            * We can’t lock all of them up without also mistakenly locking up some innocent people.
            * We do say it to them, and they hear us say it, but they don’t care. They’re criminals, after all. Throw in psychopathy for good measure if you want.

            As for the particular case, where did you read “overpower” into the situation?

          • BK Jill says:

            @Cassandra

            Why am I not suggesting the men need help?

            Because the article’s focus was on the little girls. And because I am more worried about them than the guys. But now that you ask, I would suggest that they should all be sentenced to mandatory counseling. This would be a much more constructive sentence. Even if these men were locked up for life, these girls would find a way to get into trouble again.

            On another note, Amy Winehouse was found dead. Let this be a reminder of what happens when people with a self-destructive streak are left to their own devices. Had she gone to rehab, she would still be with us today. This is not about blame my friend. This is about getting help for people who need it the most. These girls are screaming for attention (aka help) and nobody is listening. Because their voices are being drowned out by the voices of outrage.

          • These men are nasty for what they did and GOD ONLY KNOWS and GOD dose not like the NASTY AT ALL! THESE little girls didn’t even know what was going on with them when these PIGS (men) did too, 12 years old little girls it makes me very, very sick to even talk about never mind thinking about such a thing .

        • That is, hands down, one of the most horrible things I have read in a while. Someone “getting drunk” is not a severe drinking problem or alcoholism. “Losing control” – what control does a person have, drunk or otherwise, when they are raped by TWELVE MEN? “Hanging out with guys who like to gang rape” – do you know anything? “Stranger danger” isn’t how most raped happen – they often happen through people you trust – family, friends, etc. She was at a party. Think of the last party you went to with a lot of people. Did you know EVERYONE there? Intimately? People like you perpetuate the “blame the victim” mentality, while the rapists get off and go rape someone else later.

    • 12 year olds are not “women”. 12 year olds are children. Children cannot consent. Therefore, six child rapists were just set loose on society.

    • @BK Jill: Well yeah totally. I mean if a woman dresses provocatively, drinks heavily and or has a history of sexual abuse…well duh she deserves to get raped….right? In case my tone has left any doubt…arguments like yours disgust me. For multiple reasons. First its sexist against men. I mean obviously(according to this logic) if a man is put in situation where he can choose to rape a woman or not…he will. Duh…men have no self control and always rape when they can. They can never choose not to rape someone especially if she’s dressed provocatively and or has been drinking or been abused in the past. Secondly if a women puts herself in a situation where shes been drinking, is dressed provocatively etc. this does not mean shes ready and wants to get raped. But lets for the sake of argument say she is looking to continue the abuse she has had before and puts herself in a situation where she might get raped. Its STILL not ok to rape her. I feel like its even stupid to have to say that. How is this even a question. it doesn’t matter what sort of situation ANYONE puts themselves in. Rape is a choice the RAPIST makes.

      • BK Jill says:

        @David,

        Your disgust doesn’t change the facts. Yes David, I said facts. Not my opinion. Facts. And the facts are rapists are not your average male. They too fit a certain profile.

        The myth is that all men are capable of rape. As this article points out, rapists are usually serial rapists. That means the choices they make are very different than the average male. Most men don’t engage in gang rape. For a man to suggest they do suggests a man dealing with self-hatred.

        Rapists are a different breed. Their choices are usually the result of a highly chaotic and abusive family life. Alcoholism also tends to run in the blood of rapists. This is what they share in common with their victims. That is why alcohol abuse is almost always involved with acquaintance rape. In fact, rapists and their victims share more in common then most people would like to think. Both are products of an extremely dysfunctional upbringing. Any criminologist will tell you the same thing.

        Nobody said it was OK to rape these women. So why would you assume that???

        Emotional reactions don’t help anyone. But knowing the facts could save a life.

        • @ Bk Jill – No, not “any criminologist will tell you the same thing.” I suggest that you start with this classic criminological piece on the language that convicted rapists use to account for their actions:

          Scully, D., & Marolla, J. (1984). Convicted rapists’ vocabulary of motive: Excuses and justifications. Social Problems, 31(5), 530-544.

          Additionally, lets think about what dressing provocatively means. That is essentially saying that women’s clothing provokes men, which removes men’s agency. That is like saying that the men “couldn’t help themselves.”

        • You don’t have to be an outright serial rapist to commit the majority of rapes. Many “average” guys will stop if a woman forcefully says no (and will then be thought of as a misleading or frigid bitch), but women are conditioned to go along with men and give a sort of “well, ok” bland response that men will say is “consent”.

          Everyone can pick a brutal rapist out from a description. But many average men that rape aren’t considered brutal, and therefore aren’t considered rapists.

        • Helen Gallagher says:

          Most women who get raped are wearing jeans and sweaters. You might say those girls shouldn’t have met those guys in the park, but guess what – 12 year olds are naive. They probably thought those men would not rape them. And frankly, it’s really, really easy to tell the difference between a 16 year old and a 12 year old, so the old “But we thought they were older” thing doesn’t fly.

          “That is why alcohol abuse is almost always involved with acquaintance rape.” Somebody who drinks a little too much does not deserve to be raped. You sound like you are desperately trying to justify their actions.

    • Guess what? All types of women get raped. If it was only “women who fit a certain profile,” rape wouldn’t be a problem in, let’s say, Muslim countries which enforce a strict dress code as well as laws requiring females to have male guardians at all times. But we know that it IS prevalent. Often, rape is not a sexually motivated crime. Obviously it involves sex, but it’s mostly about power. There is no “type” of victim – women have been raped wearing sweatpants and business suits and blue jeans and, yes, miniskirts. Upper class women get raped, women with strong family backgrounds get raped, and women with a history of sexual abuse get raped. Let me repeat: there is no “type” of victim.

      This case is different, as it involves statutory rape. However, laws that dictate the age of consent are there because CHILDREN ARE NOT CAPABLE OF CONSENT. That is the purpose of those laws. It does not matter if a 12 year old says “I want to have sex.” He or she is not capable of consent under the law.

      • Batsheva says:

        Everything you say is true, and if these guys had known that the girls were 12, then I’d agree with you. But I haven’t seen pictures of these girls. 12 is an unusual age with girls. I teach middle school. I have seen some 12-year-old girls who could easily pass for 8, but I’ve seen others who could easily pass for 18 or even 20! When I was 12, I went to a guess your age booth at a huge amusement park, and the person guessed I was 18. Maybe the fact that I was 5’8″ and a C-cup could have had something to do with it. So don’t assume that just because the girls were 12, that the guys should have known it. If they were lying about their age (which we know they were), and if they looked, dressed, and acted much older (which they may have), then I don’t think the judge’s decision was entirely unreasonable.

        • So what? If someone is over the age of consent then gang raping them is totally A-OK? As far as I’m concerned age isn’t the main issue here, it is that they were gang-raped. Which is not OK to do to anyone, regardless of how old they are.

          Also age of consent is an age; it is measured in years. It is not about looks.

        • You seem to be missing the point of “age of consent” – it means that someone below that age CANNOT LEGALLY CONSENT TO SEX, even if they don’t say “no” or ask someone to have sex with them, the act of having sex with them is still illegal. It will be illegal if they look like they are 16, or 18, or 20. It will be illegal whether the person with whom they have sex knows they are below the age of consent. These men chose to have sex with two girls without knowing it would be an illegal act and that is their fault! Yes, the guys SHOULD have known that what they were doing was illegal, and if there was any doubt they should have declined the sex. If they didn’t know what they did was illegal, it doesn’t change the fact that it was illegal. They cannot make proper judgments and obviously need to be removed from society where their decision making skills will not have such large, negative consequences.

          The judge’s decision IS entirely unreasonable because his decision denies the definition of “age of consent.” The judge is suggesting that the 12 year olds consented to sex, when legally they could not have. His decision is illogical and falls well outside the definition of the law. He should be ashamed.

          And you should be ashamed for being a rape apologist.

        • Helen Gallagher says:

          “if they looked, dressed, and acted much older (which they may have), then I don’t think the judge’s decision was entirely unreasonable.”

          Yes, it was. I was a d-cup by the time I was 13 and I still looked 13. But i’m sure some pervert would have told me different if he thought he might get something out of it.

    • Sadly statistics point to most rapes actually being carried out by people already known to the victims, which negates the argument about dressing provocatively, or even age. These people see an apparent weakness as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation in the most terrible way. However this case is difficult due to the consensual element. Yes the men should have had doubts about the girls’ ages but it can be difficult, I was a very early developing young girl who was much taller and looked older than her peers and regularly managed to get served alcohol at 14 in pubs. Having said that I would never had any intention of sleeping with anyone at that age, let alone younger. Girls grow up fast these days. Or maybe I was just lucky.

      • BK Jill says:

        @Claire,

        You are right- Statistics do point to most rapes actually being carried out by people already known to the victims (aka acquaintance rape). But how does that negate the argument about dressing provocatively? or age?

        This is not about how a woman dresses. Nobody is suggesting women should wear burkas. This is about what motivates an under-aged girl to dress provocatively or inappropriately. When that under-aged girl is taking great efforts to suggests she is much older, she is intentionally sending out the message that she is “of age to give consent”.

        Yes, those men should have known better. They are not innocent, but neither are the girls. They both wanted sex. This much is clear. Does that make what happened OK. Certainly not. Both need to address the emotional issues which lead to bad decisions being made by all parties involved.

        • You’re conflating two very different definitions of innocent there, very dangerously. The men are not innocent because they’ve committed a sexual assault on two children (the law in England is very clear: under the age of 13, you cannot consent to sex, and there is no defence of mistaken belief about age).

          The children involved are certainly innocent of any crime. Whether or not they are innocent in the sense of being ignorant about sex is debatable, but it’s also irrelevant. Knowing about or wanting sex ast the age of 12 doesn’t mean that you can consent to it or that you deserve to be raped.

        • Helen Gallagher says:

          Emotional issues? Are you trolling? Young girls dress provocatively all the time, because children emulate their elders. They are still innocent. The men that looked at a 12 year old and decided to hurt her and the guilty ones.

      • Natalie Rose says:

        Um, can someone tell me what’s so goddamn hard about asking to see a driver’s license? I mean, seriously. And I don’t care what age the girls were, short of them literally saying, “Yes, I want you and your four friends to have sex with me in this public park in the rain and here’s proof of my age,” there’s no reason those men should have had sex with them.

    • …It’s not, plain and simple. That’s a stereotype you need to back up with some research if you’re going to throw it around as proof of women’s responsibility for their own rape.

    • I smell victim-blaming.

    • Tara Uribe says:

      Excuse me, but fuck you. Going out and drinking is NOT a consent to be raped, dressing however you want is NOT a consent to be raped. Men can get away with drinking until they pass out and not wearing shirts in public, does that mean they are consenting to be raped? Someone can walk around with an enormous engagement ring or chain on, does that mean they are consenting to be robbed? If you had ever taken a psychology/criminal justice course or watched/read studies on rapists who were were willing to speak frankly, you would understand that rape is NOT about sex at all, it is about power, plain and simple. That is why there are young women walking home from the gym in sweatpants and no makeup that get raped, that’s why there are pregnant women who get raped, that’s why there are trans men & women who get raped by homophobes, that’s why there are children and elderly women who get raped, because it has NOTHING to do with how someone is dressed or what state of mind they are in. That is a flawed, misogynistic view from a slut-shaming, patriarchal society that we live in and it is disgusting and you are only perpetuating these victim-blaming ways.

    • Chandra says:

      Grannies in their beds get raped too, you know. I was sober and dressed like a boy- rapists don’t care and studies show most don’t notice what their victim was wearing. No matter WHAT the woman was doing the problem is still- some men think it’s OK to take sex that is not given willingly. Maybe we should tell men “Don’t rape” rather than telling women “Don’t get raped.”

    • Well yes, because men who want to rape aren’t stupid and will target vulnerable women because they know they will get away with it. And every time a court makes a decision like this, the men who want to rape feel a little bit safer.

    • My cousin was 4 years old when she was raped. I was 12 and walking home from school in my uniform. Fuck you and your victim blaming bullshit.

    • The way a woman dresses is NOT and will NEVER be an excuse for rape! Self esteem whether high or low, and/or “questionable” histories are also NOT reasons for you to do whatever you want! What is wrong with you?!?!? No means NO! Rape is about power, not sex. It’s egotistical, narcissistic men who think they still own women and that men should rule the world, simply because they’re men. You need to learn that your penis does NOT give you the right over another human being, regardless of the woman’s self esteem or outfit of the day. What’s the matter BK, did your mommy not love you enough as a kid? How about you Grow up?

    • Natalie Rose says:

      “But why is it always the women who are provocatively-dressed and heavily drinking who get raped?”

      First off, you use the word “always” and that is simply not true. There is no “always,” there is no “typical rape victim.” Women (and men!) of all ages, creeds, races, sizes, etc. are raped. You’ve made some real observations, but you need to go deeper. It’s not the “irresponsible drunk girl” is always the one getting raped, it’s that whenever a woman takes a rape case to trial, her character is put on trial. Defense attorneys will do just about anything to smear the plaintiff, including painting her as a “party girl” or “promiscuous”– neither of which is actually a justification for rape, even if it’s true. But the majority of the time, it’s not true. It’s all just bullshit to get the jury to acquit based on the plaintiff’s credibility.

      This fact is one very good reason why many rape survivors do not even bother reporting the crime to the police. Why be traumatized a second time, only to see your attacker go free? It’s also true that women with history’s of sexual abuse are more likely to be abused/victimized again, but I find your accusation (that they’re “serial victims”) extremely offensive, as it implies that these women want to be raped (which is nothing sort of oxymoronic, at the very least). The reason why these women see abuse multiple times is that healing is a HUGE, life-long process, and in the meantime you still carry around a lot of the fucked up things the abuse taught you about yourself. Like that you deserve to be hurt. So yes, these women make better targets, but that doesn’t mean they’re asking for it or deserve it.

    • you are so f*cked up, 3 and 8 and 9 year old girls and 90 year old women stone cold sober and dressed in footy pajamas and full length cotton nighties get raped. and those little girls who get raped are the ones who grow up to be the ones you so callously profile in your “lets blame the victim sh*t”. No Thought and No Compassion. I hope you never get raped, and if you are I hope you get the same consideration you give the child you re-victimized in your stupid statement,

    • Um, “it’s always the women who are provocatively-dressed and heavily drinking who get raped” — are you kidding? Check your facts before you start puking stereotypes and slut-shaming all over the comments section. Many, many women who are raped were neither “provocatively-dressed” or drunk. As if that should matter.

    • Women who fit a certain profile? That’s a load of garbage. ANYONE can be raped, you don’t have to have a certain “psychological profile”, and you don’t have to be wearing a short skirt. It doesn’t matter what a woman is wearing, what her previous relationships were like, or how much self-esteem she has. If it’s non-consensual, it is RAPE.

      Why do we always say “she shouldn’t have been drinking / wearing that/ hanging out with those men” when REALLY, the issue is that those men shouldn’t have violated another human being’s body? Why do we say that it’s the victim’s fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, instead of holding the offenders responsible for RAPING another person?

  5. @BK Jill, say that we accept your premise of “Women who fit a certain profile”. So what? Rape is still rape. Offenders are still offenders. Victims are still victims (and, often enough, offenders were themselves previous victims). If there are factors which make getting raped more likely (age, gender and race are the first that spring to my mind..), does that mean people at the intersection of those factors somehow deserve to be violated? Maybe I’m missing the larger point you’re trying to make..

    • Hear, hear, Adam!

    • I don’t think BK Jill or most people who make a similar argument, ever intend to assert that people fitting characteristics X, Y and Z “deserve” to be raped. Certainly not any of the people I hear saying similar things in real life when the topic comes up.

      I think the larger point is where the locus of control lies: there will always be villains in this world, we can’t control that. But we CAN control what we expose ourselves to. We’re not exactly surprised when coal miners die in a rock fall, and we also don’t say they “deserved” to die in that way. Similarly, I’m not exactly surprised when someone gets drunk and drugged amongst a rough crowd and then gets raped. Similarly, they don’t “deserve” to get raped either. Yet there’s a certain predictability about it…

      And yes, we probably should work harder at keeping miners safe, and at reducing the incidence of rape. But HOW? I don’t see how outrage helps.

  6. This “victims” **did** want to have sex and lied about their ages to solicit celebrities via text messages.

    Arguing that the soccer players should have known better and been wise to the nature of the situation is perfectly legitimate. This hysteria over ‘victim blaming’ is not.

    • Yeah, well, the law says it doesn’t matter what the victims wanted; they weren’t of age to make that decision. This is a good argument for not meeting anyone for anonymous sex, but not a good case for letting these statutory rapists off scot free.

      • You are missing the point, Augusta. What were these girls doing sexting men who were much older? Why were they looking for sex? This is not what normal 12 year-old girls do. These are girls who have been sexualized at a young age. That almost always suggests prior sexual abuse.

        • No, you are missing the point, Jill. What were these adult men doing soliciting anonymous group sex in a park with 12 year old children? Is that what normal adult men do? Children do stupid things that they don’t understand the consequences of, that is why we have age of consent laws, age of majority laws, etc.

          I’m not a mental health professional, so I’m not going to hazard a guess as to their previous histories. But I can tell you that I did stupid and possibly dangerous things when I was that age without realizing just how badly I could have gotten hurt. I’m much more inclined to give children the benefit of the doubt than adults who should know better.

        • does this not suggest the issue is then that the sexualization of children is to your mind an acceptable justification for allowable rape?? If that is the case then the systemic Mass Media/Fashion Industry Moguls are setting our children up to be the Rape Toys of the world. Get real, you are still blaming the victim for the crime

        • Helen Gallagher says:

          “What were these girls doing sexting men who were much older? Why were they looking for sex? This is not what normal 12 year-old girls do.”

          Little girls flirt. Adult men are supposed to not take advantage of that by attacking and hurting them.

      • …but it sounds like the 12-year-olds *did* make the decision to lie about their ages and solicit sex. Whether those decisions are legally recognized as valid or not, this is not a typical “I thought she was older” case.

        If I’m reading the case info correctly, there are written records proving that the girls lied to the alleged rapists regarding their ages. The girls might not be able to legally give informed consent, but I don’t think the men could either. “Informed” is a key word here.

        These men did not consent to have sex with a 12 year old, any more than a woman whose partner lies to her about his HIV consents to have unprotected sex with a man with AIDS. If these men did not “consent” to have sex with a 12 year old, how can they be convicted for statuatory rape?

        I agree that this case decision is dangerous – I fear that it could be used as a defense in child prostitution cases. But it also sounds like the judge had solid reasons for his decision.

        • Batsheva says:

          I agree with you. We don’t know what the girls looked like. A lot of 12-year-old girls can easily pass for 16 and older. If they SAID they were older, and they looked older, why wouldn’t the guys believe them?

        • So if a bar serves a minor with a fake ID, only the minor should get in trouble, not the bar? That’s not how laws work. When you have anonymous sex with someone who appears very young, you run the risk of doing something illegal, and you must absorb the responsibility for that.

          On a side note, I honestly cannot say that I’ve ever seen a 12 year old that didn’t look very obviously like a child.

  7. Octarin says:

    Congratulations to the British for once again proving that the Middle Ages aren’t in fact over, in the British isles. Since you accept legally to have your kids impregnated at age 14 so they can get a free state apartment and a benefit, now it’s ABSOLUTELY NORMAL AND EXPECTED that somebody fucks them senseless at 12. After all you wouldn’t want to have them mothering at 14 with at least a couple of years of sexual experience, right. You British make me sick to my very foundation…

    • Thanks for the racism there, Octarin. You may find this difficult to understand, but ALL Brits do not think like this. Most of us find children having children to be a sad, frightening indication that something is very wrong in our society. And there are very, very few of us that would condone child rape. Please do not make disgusting generalisations about MY culture.

  8. BK Jill says:

    @Adam

    Did I say these women deserve to violated? No, I’m pretty sure that was assumed. So what? So that means rapists go after a certain type. So if you are truly interested in preventing rape, then you’ll try to figure out what that type is. So if you’re family has a history of alcoholism then you better believe you are more likely to be raped. Rapists prey on the weak. If you have a history sexual abuse, alcoholism or mental illness you are vulnerable to rapists. You can’t lock up all the rapists in the world. But you can be mindful of your own well-being. That’s not victim blaming. That’s common sense. Say no to ignorance and hysteria.

    • Seriously this is victim blaming. It puts all the responsibility on the woman to stop herself from being raped, by dealing with the issues that you seem to think makes her a more likely victim. I’ve heard this argument over and over again voiced by sensible men, because they think it sounds like common sense and is comparable with the ‘practical’ steps women are told to take to prevent rape like ‘if you don’t want to be raped don’t wear shoes that make it harder for you to run fast’, or ‘avoid going to badly lit areas by yourself’. First these steps aren’t practical, they’re asking women to police themselves, stop themselves from doing things they might like (perfectly harmless things btw like making a decision about footwear) and put special measures in place because harm might be awaiting them (might is the important word here, we should not all be asked to check our destination and our footwear just on the off chance that we might be raped, that creates a perpetual state of societal fear that it is not healthy for women to live in).

      When are we actually going to dig into trying to tackle the behaviour of the people who perpetrate rape (the male rapists) with tougher sentencing and societal condemnation and stop transferring the blame for crime on to the women who are attacked.

      Sidenote, not every woman who is ‘provocatively’ dressed (too complicated to get into notions of dress and cultural creating properly here) or drinks a lot has low self esteem. Sometimes a lady wants to pull, sometimes she wants to get drunk just like a dude might. I think it’s interesting that you picked two types of behaviour (drinking and wearing revealing clothes) that are used by society (check your media) as examples of undesirable behaviour in women, identified them as signs that show serious personality problems, highlighted how they might make a woman a natural victim and suggested a woman stop partaking in these behaviours to avoid getting raped. And it’s interesting that these are common arguments that get rapists cleared by public opinion(‘she was asking for it the way she was carrying on’, is just a crude version of ‘she was signalling her victimhood’). While being intoxicated may signal you as someone it’s easier to attack to a rapist (after all your motor functions can be less strong and it can be harder to get away from an attacker), so may walking alone in a park (you’re alone, it’s easier to over power one person than two)….I don’t think any woman is going to give walking alone in a park up and you don’t suggest they take care of their well fare during wholesome activities like walking in a park….See your rehtorical bias there? See how impractical and hampering your supposedly practical steps are?

      • “Victim Blaming” is a notion invented by women who don’t want to accept responsibility for their own choices. It takes two to tango. These girls are not innocent by any means. Yes, they were under-aged but that doesn’t erase the facts of the case. They texted a bunch of soccer players to meet them in a park in the middle of the night. You’re telling me sex wasn’t the intention? They weren’t meeting for brunch or asking for autographs. Let’s not be naive about this. Healthy 12 year-olds don’t engage in this type of behavior. Where are their parents? Clearly, something is not right here.

        Rapist ARE held responsible for their crimes. There are plenty of psychologists/criminologists who do tackle the behavior of rapists. But I doubt many of you have read that material, because you are too busy here shouting “victim blaming”.

        True, not every woman who dresses provocatively and drinks has low self-esteem. Not every woman who with low self-esteem dresses provocatively and has a drinking problem. However, a girl who has been physically/emotionally/sexually abused in her early developmental years will struggle with profound low self-esteem.

        A woman who was sexualized at an early age, will either be turned off by sex or she will become hyper-sexual. This hyper-seuxality can send the wrong message. Not only to predators and deviants, but to horny drunk men (aka brothers and sons) as well.

        A survivor with low self-esteem might compensate by seeking the attention of men (see Casey Anthony). She will go out of her way to get this attention. She will put herself in risky situations because sexual abuse renders a survivor’s decision-making skills useless in intimate siutations especially when they are numbing their senses with alcohol. Alcohol is often chosen by survivors as a form of self-medication. But this kind of coping-mechanism can have dire consequences. Especially if the survivor is untreated and prone to dissociative states while drinking.

        Society takes rape very seriously. Unfortunately many cases of rape are questionable. This one in particular. Any time you have a girl or a woman participating in some way, it creates reasonable doubt for the jury and the judge. This is true in the US and the UK.

        • It would be interesting to know exactly what the several counts of rape amount to. Do all the charges revolve around statutory rape? The article doesn’t actually specify and neither does any other commentary I’ve found so far. Commentors like you have assumed that these men were charged with only stautory rape (sex with a minor), I’ve assumed another way. Neither of us is any better informed, but it’s interesting to see where our biases lie. Yours seem to reflect a pretty typical picture of the way society views rape to me.

          ‘There are plenty of psychologists/criminologists who do tackle the behavior of rapists.’ but there appear to be a disturbing lack of judges who tackle this behaviour (low sentencing, come on even when they were judged guilty these men only received two year sentences for raping girls below the age of consent). Much of society is really bad at reacting to rape accusations, creating a blame culture that often favours the attacker over the victim, making it less appealing/easy for a woman to come forward and report her rape (and considering this culture of unreasonable gender biased doubt which may well live in the minds of many influential people involved in her attachers trial coming forward, while the physical evidence remains is crucial). Good on everyone who works in this field of study, that is wonderful, but much of the world is very far behind these people.

          ‘A survivor with low self-esteem might compensate by seeking the attention of men (see Casey Anthony). She will go out of her way to get this attention. She will put herself in risky situations because sexual abuse renders a survivor’s decision-making skills useless in intimate siutations especially when they are numbing their senses with alcohol. Alcohol is often chosen by survivors as a form of self-medication. But this kind of coping-mechanism can have dire consequences. Especially if the survivor is untreated and prone to dissociative states while drinking.’ You suggest that a certain way of life leads to a certain kind of behaviour, but what do you suggest this hypothetical woman does to keep herself safe? She’s in serious emotional pain and not exactly in a great place to be able to help herself. Yet you seem to be putting all the responsiblity on her to protect herself by avoiding harmful ways of coping. Incredibly hard to do unless she has a support network (which I’d suggest she does not because your hypothetical woman has been abused, or has a family with a history of alchol abuse and has already turned to self-harming coping mechanisms). Unhappy with this word as I am, she is vulnerable and the onus should be on society to help her and protect her a.) by helping her get through this tough time b.) by not raping her and c.) by supporting her in her case should she be attacked. It is not her fault that she has ended up in a bad situation, it is not her responsibility to ‘keep herself from being raped’ by cutting out her harmful behaviour (and realistically it is not practical to suggest that you hypothetical woman would be in a position to do so). You’re pointing out that rapists may attack certain kinds of women (which like Amalia I dispute but let’s try and follow your argument through) but you’re putting the responsibility on stopping a rapist in the wrong place. It’s up to a man not to be rapist (and maybe it would be helpful if we remember that not all rapists are serial rapists and that rape is thought to be more about opportunistic power than sustained sexual perrversion), it’s not up to a woman to change herself even assuming that she can to prevent a man from raping her.

          To go off into a wider topic ‘Society takes rape very seriously.’ And you tell me I’m being naive. The Dominic Strauss case was pretty much a case study in rape rhetoric, showing how easily society writes off the possibility of rape or the importance of rape actually taken place. Society takes rape seriously when the victim can be deemed a good girl, or a ‘perfect victim’ a type of rape victim that doesn’t appear that often because societal bias ensures that women can 90% of the time be accussed of doing something wrong. Or society takes rape seriously when the attacker fits a social profile that society feels it can castigate because the attacker appears in some way ‘other’ or ‘dangerous’ due to societal bias (of course this doesn’t mean that rape claims against this kind of attacker are any less valid, but society puts a lot more weight on their validity, their realness when an attacker fits these kind of profiles and a lot less on rape committed by other more ‘respectable’ kinds of attackers).

          ‘Any time you have a girl or a woman participating in some way, it creates reasonable doubt for the jury and the judge.’ and this is just wrong. Women can not participate in rape, that’s what makes it rape. It’s without consent, against your will, without willing participation. It would also create reasonable doubt for the jury should a woman be forced to move and make noises during the rape because she is afraid for her life. It would still be rape and if a jury didn’t recognise that it would be their fault (society’s fault for defining rape wrongly) not hers.

        • Natalie Rose says:

          Please stop. You are obviously not a sexual assault survivor yourself, but you’ve read a couple of psychological textbooks. Congratulations! That doesn’t give you the right to speak for survivors, and your rhetoric is horribly damaging. You’re making broad generalizations about experiences you do not share. It would be like me running around talking about the psychological affects of being a Muslim in America over the course of the last decade. No matter how much research I’ve done or how many interviews I’ve conducted, I’m still white and it’s still an attempt to appropriate an experience that does not belong to me.

          As such, please stop trying to explain an experience you do NOT understand. Until you’ve felt the venom from society for reporting your rape, until you’ve been told it’s your fault and you deserved it, until you’ve been told you shouldn’t have walked here or worn that, and especially until you’ve had someone take control of your body without your consent (though I sincerely hope you never experience this kind of horror) don’t act like your even remotely understand. Don’t act like saying “NO!” loudly enough or wearing flat shoes is going to protect you. It won’t. Until our society can admit it has a problem (and it does– look at the military alone, which is supposed to be a strictly controlled environment; a female service member is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than to be killed by an enemy), women will continue to be raped and there will have been nothing they could’ve done to prevent it.

    • er, but they aren’t “women”? These are 12-year old “girls”

      • BK Jill says:

        Yes Beth, I’m sure if you put your mind to it, you can come up with all sorts of excuses for these poor little girls. But the fact is they contacted the soccer players. They requested that they meet in the park. You can say they were under-aged, dumb, over-sexed and naive. It doesn’t make this situation any less alarming.

        If these were my 12 yo girls, I would be very alarmed. Alarmed that my little girls are meeting strange men in the park in the middle of the night. I would question my parenting skills or lack thereof. I would wonder why my girls are dressing like women and hanging out with groups of random men without supervision or approval.

        You can blame the men for being pervs and pedophiles. But when you’re done blaming them, you are still left with many unanswered questions. And who will answer those questions. The parents? The girls?

        The soccer players took advantage of these little girls. There’s no doubt about that. They were punished and held accountable. But clearly these little girls put themselves in that position. They will not be held accountable and will likely continue their irresponsible behavior.

        I am willing to bet this was not their first questionable act and sadly it probably won’t be their last. In fact, if society fails to hold them accountable for their behavior, there’s a pretty good chance they will put themselves in more compromising positions. Because the stats show us that women who are victimized at a young age are often re-victimized again and again. The facts show us that these women and girls have a self-destructive streak that can not be curbed by judge or jury.

        Ignore these facts if you will, but society’s failure to address these issues will mean the downfall of many more young women.

        • They are children. In the eyes of the law, they are children. What would you suggest Jill, that infants who are violated are asking for it too? What about toddlers who do pageants, are they “asking for it”? I don’t understand why you seem so hell bent to defend these men. After all, shouldn’t they be responsible for their actions? Why aren’t you asking what the hell they were doing soliciting anonymous sex young girls in the first place?

          • Marianna says:

            Toddlers who do pageants aren’t asking for sex.

            12 year old girls who send text messages to older boys saying “I want to have sex with you” /are/ asking for sex.

          • “one of the girls had been communicating with the men via text message and asked them to meet her and a friend in a park.”

            Who was doing the soliciting, Augusta? Please don’t bend the reported facts to suit your desired conclusion.

            By bringing infants and toddlers into this you’re burning a straw man. Surely you have a stronger argument than that? As much as BK Jill’s apparently conservative attitudes grate me, s/he is quite clearly not arguing that these men should not be held responsible for their actions. We’re talking sentencing here, not verdict! They’re still guilty and they still have a criminal record now!

        • I’m not talking about this specific case but your attitude towards it and towards rape survivors in general.

          Do you think a certain “Type” of person gets murdered?

          If I’m drunk and get murdered is that my fault, do I hold partial responsibility? If I’m wearing heels and can’t run, because I don’t know how to physically defend myself, because I was alone, because I had a nice necklace on?

          Do you blame abused spouses for marrying a violent individual?

          All stores advertise that they have money in the till by being open and taking customers. Plenty of defended shops still get robbed every day? Is it the shop keepers fault?

          I have never been abused and I dont drink. Wearing a sleeve-less top is alot of the time more skin than I’m willing to show. I come from a happy, “normal” and unbroken family. I’ve worked night shift since I’ve had a job but I always get a taxi home.

          I was raped in the middle of the day by a man I knew and trusted. I did not ask for it or lead him on. He had a girlfriend. He wasn’t a monster and I was not your idea of a rape victim.

          I have not changed my manner or attitude. I have not “Re-victimized” myself. The women I met in support groups stories were not that different from my own. They were “decent” women who took the precautions and were shocked that they were rape victims because they held the same prejudice as you,that only “bad” women get raped. That being said , just because a women doesnt fit your paradigm of virtue doesnt mean that they at any point are the guilty party. The person/s that comitted the crimes are.

          • I’m sorry for what happened to you. But you should be glad that you are an exception to the rule. Like the reporter who was raped in Egypt, you are an exception. An anomaly. You should be happy that you have not been re-victimized because that is a well-documented pattern.

            These are not my own prejudices. I’m not a religious fundamentalist trying to preach virtue. I’m only interested in hearing the truth. I wish none of this were true. But it is. If you were to do some research you would find the same alarming facts. Stating these facts is not an indictment against you. I’m sure you are an outstanding person despite your tragedy. But once again, you are an exception.

            The article above has done a very poor job of portraying these two girls. The author has made sinners into saints. She has made manipulative and dysfunctional little girls into martyrs. These were not innocent 12yr-olds. The point of pointing this out is not to tarnish the name of survivors or to place blame. The point is to address the issues that need to be addressed to put an end to this nonsense.

            Locking people up does not ensure this will never happen again. But addressing the issues that motivated these little girls to behave this way may help others deal with their own personal demons.

        • @ BK Jill:

          Holy Hell. For a start, we’ll put aside the young men involved and focus, as you want to do, on the girls. They are 12. They are children. In the eyes of the law, whether the men know about this or not, whether the girls lie or not, it is rape. End of story.

          As to the consequences of their actions? They were gang raped. They will have severe physical and mental affects because of this. They may act as if they don’t, they may downplay the pain and emotional suffering caused, but they will suffer.

          Will they continue to act in such a way that many think will cause them to be re-victimised? Maybe – that is up to them and their parents to deal with, not you, not the law. Yes, they need help. Yes, if you are offering to help, great! I’m sure the family could use support in this time of need.

          Do they need someone telling them they should not have done what they did? No. They know not to do what they did – they were raped.

          Do they need someone telling them not to dress or behave in a certain way? Maybe – but that person isn’t you.

          If you still feel this is wrong, can you explain what you want from these girls? An apology to the rapists? A commitment to dress or act in a certain way? How will you enforce such a thing?

          Here’s a good example from my own history. At 13 through to 15, I was sneaking out, getting drunk, running around with a bad crowd. I had decent, white, hard working middle class parents and a responsible, great role model of a sister. I had straight As, top of English and Drama. But at night, I dressed provocatively, acted promiscuously and generally should’ve been, according to you, a victim. I have mental health problems – I am an ideal target. Was I raped? No. Did I have some magic power which prevented me from being raped? No. On the flip side, a friend with a similar background was pulled from the footpath as she jogged to her gym at 8am. She was in sweats and no make up.

          Rape isn’t about the victim, it is about the power.

          Rape isn’t about sex, it is about the power.

          Don’t tell girls to avoid rapists, tell rapists not to rape!

        • Jesus Chr*st, they are CHILDREN for heaven’s sake!
          You disgust me, BK Jill. Even if they were sixteen that would still be morally wrong. Apparently legality defines a lot of people’s morality ! A teenager are still a child, anything else below a teenage years,is still,a child. What part of a child cannot give consent do you NOT get? Why is it your mission to blame CHILDREN for nasty horndog men’s actions and lack of self-control?

    • @ BK Jill:

      There is no /type/ of person who is sexually assaulted. Rape happens to rich, poor, beautiful, plain, fit, disabled, overweight, thin, tall, short, young, old, and to members of every ethnicity. Rape happens to people dressed provocatively and to people covered from head to foot. Rape happens to people who are agonizingly sober and to those who are mindlessly intoxicated. It happens to people with no sexual history and to people with lots of experience. People who want sex are raped, and so are people who do not want sex. Rape is done to people with healthy histories, and also inflicted on people who have been abused. It happens to strong people and weak. It is always, unfailingly, the rapist’s fault if he or she perceives weakness and thinks it is an excuse or invitation to rape.

  9. This is waaaay too triggering for me. I have a LOT to say but most of all, yes, we CAN and SHOULD strive to “lock up all the rapists in the world”. That’s rather the point of having laws, in general. Saying you can’t is a very stupid argument.

  10. bryanna_leigh says:

    lets be honest..if the kids lied about their age..dressed inappropriately and went through all the lengths to not let their reAL age be discovered then i dont see how you can tell me that these kids need to be branded as sex offenders and punished for the rest of their life..

    wheres the accountability of the girls parents and the girls?. what 16 year old goes around asking other supposed same age kids to show them id or birth certificate?

    pedophilia is when you actively and knowingly seek someone of an age thats inappropriate..
    these kids cant be pedophiles since they didnt know..in their mind they thought and had all the belief that whoever they were with was of the right age group.

    those girls wanted to have sex and tricked the kids into it. they should be held liable for their actions if anything.

    • “These kids” are not being branded as sex offenders. These fully adult men were, and they were not serving life, they were serving two years for gang raping 12 year olds. How is that an unreasonable punishment?

      • Hear Hear.

        These men are men. They are not accused of being paedophiles, they are being accused of rape due to age of consent, which they committed. Any girl under 13, even if she begs for sex, openly and publicly, will be raped if that sex goes ahead. She can march up to the stand in the court and announce she wanted it – but the man who had sex with her has still committed rape. If he loves her, as they often claim, he will wait till she is 16 and legal.

        This decision is a travesty.

    • the twelve year old’s are the responsible ones and the ADULT MALES are called KIDS, in your words. @bryanna_leigh Do you read what you type? the issue is Rape, A pair of children did make a poor choice. Did they seek RAPE? If you go out with a girlfriend and go to a restaurant with some men in it, does that give them the RIGHT to RAPE you? No? Why is it the fault of these Children that they were sexually assaulted? Where is the accountability of the ADULT MEN involved??

  11. BKBill you clearly are commenting on a subject that you know nothing about!

    And for your information I was raped wearing non-provocative clothes and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs or was ‘leading him on’. I trusted a friend who attacked me and pulled me back when I tried to escape. He apologised for his actions in text messages to me, a confession of the crime. The CPS decided not to prosecute. My life is in ruins. There is no justice system in this country, how can you not prosecute someone who had admitted to the crime, apologised and said would understand if I reported him to the police! I now understand the reason behind the 6.5% conviction rate. I am also a pretty strong independent young woman, not someone who by your standards is ‘vulnerable to rapists’

    Just so you know
    People get raped wearing short skirts
    People get raped wearing burkas
    People get raped wearing baggy jeans and a hoodie
    People get raped when drunk
    People get raped when sober
    People get raped whilst unconscious
    People get raped at 5 years old
    People get raped at 22
    People get raped at 70
    People get raped by their husbands
    People get raped by friends
    People get raped by strangers

    All people from all walks of life are victims of sexual violence you ignorant man!
    And largely rape is not sexually motivated it is about power and control! The way a woman looks/is dressed does not motivate a person to rape!

    I should have the right to lie on the street naked if I so wished that does not mean someone has the right to rape me. How about stop telling people how to ‘avoid’ being rape and Instead stopping people from raping in the first place!! Perhaps they get away with it because of people like you!! I pray you never get jury duty on a sexual violence case!

    Now stop commenting on subjects you know nothing about, invalidating victims experiences and shame on you for shifting blame from the rapist onto the victim!!!

  12. This article is filled with charged language accusing the athletes of gang rape. However, the whole truth is not being told.

    If according to Lord Justice Moses “The girls wanted to have sex,” and the girls lied about their ages publicly. Then forget about accusing the girls of slutty dress, does their physique mach what would be expected of a 16 year old. Because that what is in question, do any red flags go off do they look prepubescent.

    The sports stars ages ranged from 19 to 21 so based on the girls claimed age of 16 that’s only 3 to 5 years difference. I can’t call that creepy. At 5 years difference I would expect a maturity gap and possible manipulation. Sex is popularized among youth today and if the girls think they are going to have a good time and get laid by some sports stars and pursue an encounter and lie to do it, foolish or not, they consented.

    There was no force, no use of drugs, no resistance, and no rape.

    • typo ages ranged from 18 to 21

      • Right, but the girls weren’t 16. They were 12. That’s a difference of six to nine years, with is almost as much as the girls are themselves. And according to the age of consent laws, yes, there absolutely was rape.

    • Under 13, you can’t consent to sex in English law, and mistaken belief about age is no defence. The law as it is written is very clear about this. It’s just ridiculously poorly enforced.

      Yes, yes, yes, there was rape.

      • Maybe under contractual law at their true age consent is not recognized, but they were old enough to lie about their age. They knew what they were after. There were texts going back and forth as to how the girls wanted to each take 3 of the guys. One girl decided after the first guy that she did not want any more and they did not impose themselves on her and honored her decision. This does not sound like rape at all but fully consensual sex as the girls knew what they wanted and went after it.

        • But they were 12.

          Did you know what you really wanted at 12? Did you think that yes, you really did want to eat all that ice cream and yes, you just loved vomiting afterwards? Did you think drinking Mum’s sherry was cool and the hangover the next day the best bit? What about yes, you wanted to have sex and gang bangs are all the rage, and now, yay fun, I have STDs just like my big sister?

          And even better, a torn perineum, and the loss of your virginity for ever and ever?

          Even if a 12 year old lies, and is drunk, and begs you for sex, Just Say No.

  13. BlackHumor says:

    I should make the point here that the Daily Mail fails journalism, and I suspect that the writer of this article, not knowing that the Daily Mail fails journalism, went by just the headline without reading the article very carefully.

    This was at the bottom of it:

    “Their sentences were cut to one-year jail terms, suspended for a year, during which they will remain under probation service supervision.”

    Cutting a two-year sentence to one year plus a year of probation is not really that big, I would say.

    • “suspended” means you don’t go to prison unless you break the terms of your release within the year. So yes, they’ve been set free.

  14. Terry C - NJ says:

    Would I be a terrible person if I said I hope that judge gets raped somewhere down the line?

    I hope he doesn’t have any daughters.

  15. Terry C - NJ says:

    The number of women here defending the rapists and trashing the victims really disgusts me.

    Makes me wonder if they really ARE women or the usual male trolls who always have to put their two cents in.

  16. @BK Jill
    I completely agree with you! I think that people are far to sympathetic of women that put themselves in situations like this where they are clearly asking for something to happen. As far as the dressing inappropriately goes if you don’t want that sort of attention from men then don’t dress that way! That is the only reason we dress in any sort of way because society has told us this is what looks sexy. If you go to the bar dressed like a slut, don’t get angry because that is the message you are sending to people. That you are looking for sex.
    The only point I disagree with is the drinking bit. If there was any question as to if the people you are around would take advantage of you while drunk then those aren’t the people you want to be around.

    Fact of the matter is that if women are dressing a certain way then they are asking for “that sort of attention”. I think that some people sympathize with rape victims who might just be looking to be the victim. There are a lot of people out there who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions or just want people to feel sorry for them and to not be labeled as a slut.

    • Women should be able to dress however they want to. Men do. Yes they may be criticized for what they are wearing but that doesn’t give someone the right to take a certain action against them because of it. A rich man in an expensive suit and tie with a flashy car deserves to get robbed than right? because he is totally asking for it dressed like that. It seems that’s what your implying. Where does that type of closed-minded thinking get you? Nowhere.

      • also…most rape victims aren’t wearing provocative clothing either and rapists usually chose a victim they know or one who has very low confidence.It is known that about 84% of rape victims knew who attacked them. Maybe you should do some more research on this subject for a better understanding.

  17. Cassandra says:

    All I am going to say is that if there are men and women out there who think it was these girls fault for getting raped, then I hope that you find a way to conjure some sympathy when it was your mother, your sister, your friend, your daughter, whoever, who “must have deserved it” for whatever they did: lied about their age, got too drunk, sexting, standing on the corner of whatever street at whatever time of day, whatever. No one deserves rape. Yes, the girls here need some serious guidance. But when we let the men go free because “they didn’t know”, we don’t address the fact that the girls need to have more respect for themselves but ALSO that men really ought to consider demanding that women have more respect for themselves, too. Again, we make these girls look like trash, and their fault for getting raped. Okay football players, *phew* you didn’t know, but really, I hope that you demand more from the women/girls you meet. Because when you don’t, you’re standards are pretty low — clearly, and encourage misguided girls to enter a space that isn’t safe or healthy. You are adults. Get it together.

  18. A girl from my school was raped when she was 9, and I was 8. All I was told at the time was that I should never play alone, and was no longer let outside to play in the park across from my house. This message was only passed on to girls, so we became far more restricted as to where we could go and what we could do – I wasn’t even allowed to ride my bike any more.

    I wasn’t informed till years later that there had been a rape in that park. Even then, not too long ago, I was told ‘it wasn’t his fault’ and ‘she shouldn’t have been playing alone’.

    When will the blame end? She was 9.

    SLUTWALK UNITE.

  19. Arg. For heaven’s sake, what adult man thinks that someone who wants to sleep with them and their friends in a park when its raining is over age?

    And how does admitting you did something awful lead to a lighter sentence? I think it should remove any doubt for the judge, lending said judge the confidence to give them an appropriate, long fucking sentence that frankly more rapists should receive.

  20. in UK law, you are not old enough to consent to sex at 12, no matter how old you look. They were children, therefore they need protection. The footballers behaved like savages. They need locking up.

  21. greg gurnett says:

    I think the judges wanted it and were jealous.

  22. This happened to me and two siblings at ages 11, 12, and 13. Unlike the above case, there was no consent. We were each taken to an apartment and told that there were people waiting for us inside. We did not know our assailants. We did not know what was going to happen. There was no facebook page and no lies about age. We were completely innocent.

    We were all boys. And the offenders were all adult women. The person who set it up was our mother. A professional, paid, academic feminist who tours the world speaking about violence against women.

    Thanks for nothing.

  23. I can’t believe that these bloody freakin Judges are allowed in a courtroom!!!! The girls were undeniably victimized by their rapists, and the so-called Justice system.

  24. Hmmmm... says:

    To all the commentors: BK Jill is an internet troll. I’m almost 100% positive that “BK Jill” is actually the owner of this blog: http://www.savorydish.wordpress.com, a man that has some serious rage towards rape survivors and women with personality disorders. You should not engage with this person.

  25. I love how many people commenting on this are saying “so what if they were twelve? they WANTED it.” Really? You really think a twelve year old fully understands what is involved in group sex? You really think a twelve year old, probably a football fan, is likely to avoid a sexual conversation with someone they adore? Children love dressing like adults, they do it all the time. Children also love making older friends, because it makes them feel “grown up”. It’s likely that the idea of having sex made them think they would feel grown up too.

    The reason stat rape can be declared is because, by consensus, the British decided “No. Twelve year old’s DON’T know what’s involved in group sex, ARE likely to agree to things they don’t want/don’t need/don’t understand, and we need to protect them”. Suggesting that they DID know and can understand is pointless.

    If you have an issue with the law, change the law, don’t rid offenders of sentences.

  26. Does “Statutory Rape” actually mean anything? Because for every court case I’ve ever read about involving “sex with” a minor, it seems like the word “statutory” is just a qualifier that effectively nullifies the word “rape.”

    • This is what happened at this trial. The defendants pleaded guilty (they had no choice as they had already admitted having sexual intercourse – and therefore -raping the two children) – but their plea was on a “basis” – that they were unaware of the children’s true age.

      They said they believed the children when they claimed to be 16 and as far as they were concerned they were engaging in consensual sex (make of that what you will, but we weren’t in Court to see/hear any evidence. – Anyway, the prosecution (CPS) accepts that basis of plea (a poor judgment perhaps ?). The men were convicted of rape on their basis but then they had to be sentenced.

      The Judges can only sentence on the basis on which they had been convicted – they cannot go behind it. The question here is should a convict be given an immediate custodial sentence if he didn’t have a ‘guilty mind’ – see mens rea in wikipaedia for this legal concept.

      As for the children, I suspect that Social Services have issued care proceedings.

      • Ignorance isn’t supposed to be a legitimate legal defense. If I get caught doing 55 in a 35mph zone, I can’t get out of a citation by claiming I didn’t know the speed limit.
        Besides any guy who claims he can’t tell the difference between a 12 year old and a 16 year old is a liar.

        • Helen Gallagher says:

          “any guy who claims he can’t tell the difference between a 12 year old and a 16 year old is a liar.”

          Damn straight.

    • Anne – I didn’t mean to specifically reply to your post – it was a general posting. Sorry.

  27. Helen Gallagher says:

    Is there any way to get hate speech websites removed from the web?

  28. stopvictimblaming says:

    Am I arguing that girls and women shouldn’t be held responsible for their behaviour? Not at all. If a woman drinks to excess, then falls over in the street, loses her wallet and vomits all over her shirt, she has only herself to blame. But rape is not a consequence of getting drunk. It’s a consequence of a man deciding to rape someone.

    — Emily Maguire, Princesses & Pornstars: Sex, Power, Identity.

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