Rape accusers to be asked to hand their phones to police Watch

ThePootisPower
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#21
(Original post by CommanderKeen)
Unless they torture you, I cannot imagine how would they do it. Also, this would be like giving evidence against yourself, so that wont fly neither.
I think you're struggling to see the forest for the trees here.

If you must hand in your phone in order for rape charges to be pressed, they'll also make you unlock the phone and give the password to them/disable security on the phone as well. If you refuse to do either, they'll drop the case.

It's a pretty easily enforced system. The real debate is over whether this is necessary, or an invasion of privacy.
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CommanderKeen
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How will they force you?
(Original post by ThePootisPower)
I think you're struggling to see the forest for the trees here.

If you must hand in your phone in order for rape charges to be pressed, they'll also make you unlock the phone and give the password to them/disable security on the phone as well. If you refuse to do either, they'll drop the case.

It's a pretty easily enforced system. The real debate is over whether this is necessary, or an invasion of privacy.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
I don't think the police is taking the phones to expose the accuser.
Probably not... but doesn't change the rules about it being handed over the defence to be used to discredit the accuser at trial

(And I'd be surprised in these days of budget cuts if police would actually send someone to inspect a rape scene. The police weren't even interested in me going for swabs/collecting my own evidence as it was he said/she said and I was advised against reporting it. Also, checking for vaginal trauma is pretty much irrelevant in proving/disproving rape)
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Wired_1800
ChickenMadness

Sorry I can't multi-quote.... it's a bit naive to say that if you're telling the truth it won't hurt you or you've nothing to hide! Anything taken from your phone has to be handed over to the defence and can be used against you. I don't know if you saw the case in Ireland where they used the victim's choice of underwear against her? Can you imagine what they'd do with access to potentially intimate messages and photos sent to others (not the accused) and whatever other personal info is on there?

So I'm a bit on the fence with this - I'd be okay with giving my phone to prove that I was telling the truth and hadn't sent texts saying it was consensual and then changed my story etc etc. But I'm not okay with unrelated messages/photos/data etc being used against me at trial.

So for me, until we live in a society where a rape victim's sexual history, fantasies, clothing, behaviour etc isn't going to be brought up at trial, I'd be against this being enforced.
Those are fair points. However, I think when they are investigating a case, they would have to look at the whole picture. Has the accuser accused other people before? What was the nature of their relationships? What events led to the fateful day and what happened afterwards?

I think a rape accusation is rarely straightforward, so we have to gather as much evidence as possible. There are cases of consensual sex that was changed to rape after the event. Further investigation showed that it was consensual.
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ThePootisPower
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(Original post by CommanderKeen)
How will they force you?
By dropping the case if you don't give them the phone and access to the data.

Are you really so hung up on terminology surrounding the methods of which they'll access the phone?
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username4454836
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(Original post by CommanderKeen)
If the phone is encrypted they will never make it in without a password, so kind of useless.
Obviously you don't understand the article. It is voluntary to hand over your phone, so who is going to give them their phone but not the password?
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Probably not... but doesn't change the rules about it being handed over the defence to be used to discredit the accuser at trial

(And I'd be surprised in these days of budget cuts if police would actually send someone to inspect a rape scene. The police weren't even interested in me going for swabs/collecting my own evidence as it was he said/she said and I was advised against reporting it. Also, checking for vaginal trauma is pretty much irrelevant in proving/disproving rape)
Were you raped? I am sorry about that. What was the verdict?

Why is vaginal trauma irrelevant?

Yes, the budget cuts will massively mess up investigations. In an ideal world, I think the rape scene would have to be investigated to gather evidence such as possibly a broken door done by the victim trying to flee or a broken lamp from them kicking the rapist.
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Lannister043
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On the one hand this could be seen as a breach of privacy, but on the other, it might be a better system in reducing fake accusations.

Getting that perfect balance will be difficult.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by ThePootisPower)
By dropping the case if you don't give them the phone and access to the data.

Are you really so hung up on terminology surrounding the methods of which they'll access the phone?
The case would be dropped due to a lack of evidence, as is the case with any other crime accusation
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ThePootisPower
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(Original post by Andrew97)
The case would be dropped due to a lack of evidence, as is the case with any other crime accusation
Please read who I was responding to, because I’m fully aware of this. You seem to have fundamentally misunderstood the context of this discussion.
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Jebedee
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If you prefer to investigate it yourself then don't hand your phone in. Justice isn't free.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by Lannister043)
On the one hand this could be seen as a breach of privacy, but on the other, it might be a better system in reducing fake accusations.

Getting that perfect balance will be difficult.
I think people would support it, if it is seen to be part of due process. It would be upsetting if there are random phone checks because some accusers may feel they are being targeted.

In many cases, I think the police wants to gather enough evidence to prosecute. So if the accuser refuses to provide access to the phone or electronic devices, then the cases may fail due to lack of evidence.
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sophia5892
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It's definitely an awkward one as it's absolutely awful for those falsely accused, especially when mobile phone data could very easily be used to clear them.

But the questions you're asking are exactly the kinds of questions which lead to real rape victims not being believed or their testimony being ripped apart at trial.

Take my own case, assuming I'd pushed for it to be investigated...

I was acquainted with the "accused". He was a long-time friend of my new friends at college. I'd met him twice and got on really well with him, probably could have fancied him if it weren't for the fact he's gay and so I just didn't even look at him like that. I'd hugged and kissed him on a night out before (he was very huggy/kissy with his female friends when drunk). The night it happened we were camping. We could have all stayed in my friend's tent, but I chose to stay in a separate tent with just him (he was being maungy as he'd bought a new tent and wanted to use it but wouldn't use it just for himself). He was drunk. I wasn't. I spent the evening with him looking happy and friendly - there's photos of us sat smiling cuddled up. When he raped me I didn't scream for help even though my friends were in the tent just a metre or so away. The morning after the rape, I told at least two of the friend's I'd been camping with that I was raped. I went to the hospital and said I was raped. And then to the GUM clinic and said I was raped. However, at college, some of my other friends didn't believe me cos they'd known him years - they thought I'd had a one-night stand I regretted/was embarrassed about as I wasn't as "sexually liberal" as them. So I played it down, made excuses, said he was drunk and he didn't know what he was doing etc etc.

So looking at that story... about the only thing I have going for me as a "victim" is that I disclosed the rape immediately the next morning, and maintained I was raped when I went to the hospital and the GUM clinic. Aside from that, there's plenty of "evidence" that can be used to make it look consensual. If I'd reported it, and if I'd been forced to hand over my phone, then the defence would have access to those photos and the messages downplaying it.

By answering the questions you're suggesting, I look like I wasn't raped.

The nature of the relationship and what happened before/after should be irrelevant - what matters is was consent given, or could the accused reasonably believe consent was given, at the time of the alleged rape. Whilst asking those questions might reveal a false rape claim, they're much more likely to rip holes in the story of a genuine claim and put victims off reporting.

(Original post by Wired_1800)
Those are fair points. However, I think when they are investigating a case, they would have to look at the whole picture. Has the accuser accused other people before? What was the nature of their relationships? What events led to the fateful day and what happened afterwards?

I think a rape accusation is rarely straightforward, so we have to gather as much evidence as possible. There are cases of consensual sex that was changed to rape after the event. Further investigation showed that it was consensual.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
It's definitely an awkward one as it's absolutely awful for those falsely accused, especially when mobile phone data could very easily be used to clear them.

But the questions you're asking are exactly the kinds of questions which lead to real rape victims not being believed or their testimony being ripped apart at trial.

Take my own case, assuming I'd pushed for it to be investigated...

I was acquainted with the "accused". He was a long-time friend of my new friends at college. I'd met him twice and got on really well with him, probably could have fancied him if it weren't for the fact he's gay and so I just didn't even look at him like that. I'd hugged and kissed him on a night out before (he was very huggy/kissy with his female friends when drunk). The night it happened we were camping. We could have all stayed in my friend's tent, but I chose to stay in a separate tent with just him (he was being maungy as he'd bought a new tent and wanted to use it but wouldn't use it just for himself). He was drunk. I wasn't. I spent the evening with him looking happy and friendly - there's photos of us sat smiling cuddled up. When he raped me I didn't scream for help even though my friends were in the tent just a metre or so away. The morning after the rape, I told at least two of the friend's I'd been camping with that I was raped. I went to the hospital and said I was raped. And then to the GUM clinic and said I was raped. However, at college, some of my other friends didn't believe me cos they'd known him years - they thought I'd had a one-night stand I regretted/was embarrassed about as I wasn't as "sexually liberal" as them. So I played it down, made excuses, said he was drunk and he didn't know what he was doing etc etc.

So looking at that story... about the only thing I have going for me as a "victim" is that I disclosed the rape immediately the next morning, and maintained I was raped when I went to the hospital and the GUM clinic. Aside from that, there's plenty of "evidence" that can be used to make it look consensual. If I'd reported it, and if I'd been forced to hand over my phone, then the defence would have access to those photos and the messages downplaying it.

By answering the questions you're suggesting, I look like I wasn't raped.

The nature of the relationship and what happened before/after should be irrelevant - what matters is was consent given, or could the accused reasonably believe consent was given, at the time of the alleged rape. Whilst asking those questions might reveal a false rape claim, they're much more likely to rip holes in the story of a genuine claim and put victims off reporting.
This is horrible and I hope you are doing better after that ordeal.

You have made fair points. The reason I mentioned the events before and after the case was to establish a full story.

There are stories that came out where the accused was no where near the rape scene, which the accuser claimed they were. Another case was that the accused had previously accused two ex-boyfriends at different points. It was the defence lawyer, who looked beyond that case to establish the trend.

I understand that rape is horrible and I would not wish it on anyone. I think an accusation should be fully investigated. So that the accused is prosecuted for the crime. Nowadays, people dont even need to go to jail, just the accusation can destroy the person.

Yes, I understand that false claims is negligible compared to real claims, but one false claim can destroy families and lives forever.
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sophia5892
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Sorry hadn't seen your second quote!

I never reported it because when I rang the police the day after I was basically told reporting it was a waste of time. That my name would be dragged through the mud and I'd have to cope with the stress of the aftermath whilst studying for/sitting A Levels and it'd be highly highly unlikely to make it to trial and result in a conviction.

Vaginal trauma is largely irrelevant because trauma can be present after consensual sex. Now yes of course if you've got trauma to the extent of the poor Indian girl who died after being assaulted, that would be helpful evidence of non-consent. But presence of milder trauma doesn't prove rape. And many rape victims won't present with vaginal trauma so absence of trauma also doesn't disprove rape.

I don't think there's been any large scale studies, but I believe it's been shown that generally less than 30% of rape victims present with trauma and most trauma is mild. Figures range from 5% to 87%. But the studies showing much higher rates were using more complex tests which reveal lacerations etc not visible to the naked eye. I.e. not the kind of tests offered routinely to victims. And of course any data will be skewed by the high proportion who never report - I'd imagine people with visible injury from rape are more likely to report/pursue a conviction than those with no visible injury.

So essentially, presence/absence of vaginal trauma should not influence a court's decision in proving/disproving rape.
(Original post by Wired_1800)
Were you raped? I am sorry about that. What was the verdict?

Why is vaginal trauma irrelevant?

Yes, the budget cuts will massively mess up investigations. In an ideal world, I think the rape scene would have to be investigated to gather evidence such as possibly a broken door done by the victim trying to flee or a broken lamp from them kicking the rapist.
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ANM775
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(Original post by sophia5892)
It's definitely an awkward one as it's absolutely awful for those falsely accused, especially when mobile phone data could very easily be used to clear them.

But the questions you're asking are exactly the kinds of questions which lead to real rape victims not being believed or their testimony being ripped apart at trial.

Take my own case, assuming I'd pushed for it to be investigated...

I was acquainted with the "accused". He was a long-time friend of my new friends at college. I'd met him twice and got on really well with him, probably could have fancied him if it weren't for the fact he's gay and so I just didn't even look at him like that. I'd hugged and kissed him on a night out before (he was very huggy/kissy with his female friends when drunk). The night it happened we were camping. We could have all stayed in my friend's tent, but I chose to stay in a separate tent with just him (he was being maungy as he'd bought a new tent and wanted to use it but wouldn't use it just for himself). He was drunk. I wasn't. I spent the evening with him looking happy and friendly - there's photos of us sat smiling cuddled up. When he raped me I didn't scream for help even though my friends were in the tent just a metre or so away. The morning after the rape, I told at least two of the friend's I'd been camping with that I was raped. I went to the hospital and said I was raped. And then to the GUM clinic and said I was raped. However, at college, some of my other friends didn't believe me cos they'd known him years - they thought I'd had a one-night stand I regretted/was embarrassed about as I wasn't as "sexually liberal" as them. So I played it down, made excuses, said he was drunk and he didn't know what he was doing etc etc.

So looking at that story... about the only thing I have going for me as a "victim" is that I disclosed the rape immediately the next morning, and maintained I was raped when I went to the hospital and the GUM clinic. Aside from that, there's plenty of "evidence" that can be used to make it look consensual. If I'd reported it, and if I'd been forced to hand over my phone, then the defence would have access to those photos and the messages downplaying it.

By answering the questions you're suggesting, I look like I wasn't raped.

The nature of the relationship and what happened before/after should be irrelevant - what matters is was consent given, or could the accused reasonably believe consent was given, at the time of the alleged rape. Whilst asking those questions might reveal a false rape claim, they're much more likely to rip holes in the story of a genuine claim and put victims off reporting.

why would a gay guy rape you?
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sophia5892
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Definitely agreed - I'm just not happy with a system which would force victims to also hand over irrelevant evidence that the defence could use against them to help an actual rapist get away with it.

Personally I think we need to change the system, so that evidence like that can be used to ensure it's not a false accusation and protect the accused, without the defence being allowed to use it to discredit the accuser at trial.

I'm also not sure I agree that previous accusations can always be used as proof of crying wolf. Given it's fairly well accepted that many rapes go unreported or don't result in a conviction, it is possible that an accuser could have accused others and all accusations still be genuine. I believe I read something years ago that said victims of rape are more likely to be raped again than non-victims of rape.... but I couldn't swear to this! I think it was something along the lines of women with abusive partners more likely to end up in a cycle of abusive relationships... but given poor rates of reporting/conviction those victims can't necessarily prove their past accusations were genuine.

(Original post by Wired_1800)
This is horrible and I hope you are doing better after that ordeal.

You have made fair points. The reason I mentioned the events before and after the case was to establish a full story.

There are stories that came out where the accused was no where near the rape scene, which the accuser claimed they were. Another case was that the accused had previously accused two ex-boyfriends at different points. It was the defence lawyer, who looked beyond that case to establish the trend.

I understand that rape is horrible and I would not wish it on anyone. I think an accusation should be fully investigated. So that the accused is prosecuted for the crime. Nowadays, people dont even need to go to jail, just the accusation can destroy the person.

Yes, I understand that false claims is negligible compared to real claims, but one false claim can destroy families and lives forever.
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sophia5892
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well exactly. It all sounds very unlikely and like I'm lying doesn't it?

He didn't remember doing it, so I never got an answer to that
(Original post by ANM775)
why would a gay guy rape you?
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Sorry hadn't seen your second quote!

I never reported it because when I rang the police the day after I was basically told reporting it was a waste of time. That my name would be dragged through the mud and I'd have to cope with the stress of the aftermath whilst studying for/sitting A Levels and it'd be highly highly unlikely to make it to trial and result in a conviction.

Vaginal trauma is largely irrelevant because trauma can be present after consensual sex. Now yes of course if you've got trauma to the extent of the poor Indian girl who died after being assaulted, that would be helpful evidence of non-consent. But presence of milder trauma doesn't prove rape. And many rape victims won't present with vaginal trauma so absence of trauma also doesn't disprove rape.

I don't think there's been any large scale studies, but I believe it's been shown that generally less than 30% of rape victims present with trauma and most trauma is mild. Figures range from 5% to 87%. But the studies showing much higher rates were using more complex tests which reveal lacerations etc not visible to the naked eye. I.e. not the kind of tests offered routinely to victims. And of course any data will be skewed by the high proportion who never report - I'd imagine people with visible injury from rape are more likely to report/pursue a conviction than those with no visible injury.

So essentially, presence/absence of vaginal trauma should not influence a court's decision in proving/disproving rape.
Interesting. I thought vaginal trauma added to the evidence. I know the DNA swabs are done to check for a match with the accused. Rape cases should be fully investigated, so that the rapists go to jail.

I think a major discourse now is about consent. No means no, but what happens when it was “Yes” during the case and “no” afterwards?
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by sophia5892)
Definitely agreed - I'm just not happy with a system which would force victims to also hand over irrelevant evidence that the defence could use against them to help an actual rapist get away with it.

Personally I think we need to change the system, so that evidence like that can be used to ensure it's not a false accusation and protect the accused, without the defence being allowed to use it to discredit the accuser at trial.

I'm also not sure I agree that previous accusations can always be used as proof of crying wolf. Given it's fairly well accepted that many rapes go unreported or don't result in a conviction, it is possible that an accuser could have accused others and all accusations still be genuine. I believe I read something years ago that said victims of rape are more likely to be raped again than non-victims of rape.... but I couldn't swear to this! I think it was something along the lines of women with abusive partners more likely to end up in a cycle of abusive relationships... but given poor rates of reporting/conviction those victims can't necessarily prove their past accusations were genuine.
I understand your points. I think we need to take a step back when looking at rape cases. When a person accused another person, the accuser should not immediately be viewed as a victim or the accused as inherently guilty. This often influences the decision.

I think a rape claim should be calmly investigated with all evidences brought to the fore. If a person has previously accused another person or other people, there is a chance than they might be lying. It sounds harsh but it is the truth. We cannot just ignore past behaviour. I am not saying that we should not believe the rape accuser but we should rationally investigate matters.

I don't think irrelevant evidence should be used. I think the police should extract all relevant evidence and share with the parties involved.
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