Teenager's underwear choice used to free alleged rapist, causing public outrage
A wave of protests has erupted after a defense lawyer used the thong of a 17-year-old rape victim to prove that she had consented the act.
The incident is shocking people all over the world, especially in Ireland, where the incident took place earlier this month, in the city of Cork.
One of the biggest support groups for rape victims, "I Believe Her," has taken to their Twitter page to share a picture of a thong with the hashtag 'thisisnotconsent.'
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Women post underwear pics in protest over sexual consent after Irish rape trial https://t.co/jOYICp5F7m— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 14, 2018
FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT
The group has urged their followers to post a picture of their underwear as a form of protest against victim-blaming, the action that Elizabeth O'Connell, the defense lawyer, is guilty of.
During the trial of the 27-year-old man, who is yet to be named, O'Connell grabbed the thong and showed it to the courtroom, drawing attention to what the victim was wearing at the time of the crime.
"You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front."
Elizabeth O'Connell, BBC, November 14, 2018
Counsel for man acquitted of rape suggested jurors should reflect on underwear worn by the 17yo complainant. Following this wholly unacceptable comment, we are calling on our followers to post a picture of their thongs/knickers to support her with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent pic.twitter.com/ZkVU0GVAIN— I Believe Her - Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 10, 2018
THE SHOCKING STATEMENT
According to O'Connell, the fact that the 17-year-old was wearing a thong was proof that she was 'attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone.'
These words, along with the defendant being considered not guilty, were received with extreme outrage and led Ruth Coppinger, an Irish MP, to urge people to join one of the protests held in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
Today we march to #Cork city courthouse after a 17 year old's underwear was used from the defence in a rape trial.— Caithríona O' Neill (@Caithriona_Ne) November 14, 2018
Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no. #ThisIsNotConsent #EnoughIsEnough #CorkTrial #consent #victimblaming #IBelieveHer pic.twitter.com/JBBFZTcNoz
"You have to look at the way she was dressed."
The objective was to call for a reform in Irish rape prosecution laws and to put an end to the culture of victim-blaming, which is a concept very much alive in today's society.
A FRIGHTENINGLY COMMON ISSUE
Recently, an elderly woman was saved by Antonio Colon, a 41-year-old mail carrier, from becoming a rape victim herself after he heard her scream inside her senior apartment.
He rushed in and saw a man kneeling over the woman, claiming that she had fallen and he was helping her get back up, but the woman yelled that he tried to rape her.
Colon kept the man from fleeing the scene by threatening him with pepper spray while calling the police. The mail carrier was later honored by the National Association of Letter Carriers for his heroic deed.