SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Irish rape trial sparks social media outrage

Women around the world are posting pictures of their underwear on Twitter after a 27-year-old man was acquitted in a rape trial in Ireland during which a teenager's thong was used as evidence.

Posted: Nov 17, 2018 12:27 PM
Updated: Nov 17, 2018 12:59 PM

Women around the world are posting pictures of their underwear on Twitter after a 27-year-old man was acquitted in a rape trial in Ireland during which a teenager's thong was used as evidence.

A jury in the criminal court in the city of Cork took an hour and a half deliberating on November 6 to declare the defendant not guilty of raping a 17-year-old in a lane at night.

In her final address, defense barrister Elizabeth O'Connell asked the jurors to take into account the underwear the teenager was wearing.

"Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front," she said, according to the Irish Examiner.

Using a thong as evidence of implied consent was considered victim-blaming by many women on social media, who started publishing pictures of their underwear using the #ThisIsNotConsent hashtag.

"We had hoped that as a society we had moved on from these archaic, victim-blaming rape myths," Susan Dillon, who is part of a group of women in Ireland who came up with the hashtag and tried to spread the word, told CNN.

Earlier this year, Dillon set up the "I Believe Her - Ireland" Twitter page with the aim of providing an anonymous and safe space for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories and to get support.

She did so after the Belfast rape trial in March 2018 in which former Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were cleared of raping a student at a house party, another controversial sentencing that ignited protests.

Ruth Coppinger, a socialist member of the Irish parliament, tweeted a picture of her underwear after she said she displayed it in Dáil Éireann, the assembly's lower house. She also urged her followers to join protests in Dublin against the Cork verdict:

"I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dáil. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it's within the rules, hence need to display in Dáil."

The protests across Ireland are being organized by the socialist feminist organization ROSA. Supporters are asked to bring along their underwear.

Other women from across the world joined the #ThisIsNotConsent.

"I'm a feminist and human rights supporter who is frustrated that this argument is being used in a 21st century Irish court of law," Michelle Sullivan, who is based in Canada, told CNN.

Emily Buell, from San Jose, California, also shared pictures of her underwear: "How are we living in 2018? Women are feeling empowered, finally, with the #metoo movement letting women of all age speak up."

Others were not surprised.

"The story unfortunately didn't shock me, because harmful attitudes like this seem to be widespread, but it did anger me," said Courtney Peterson, who is based in England. "To think that a young girl has already been through so much trauma and she's had to listen to older professional people implying that she's to blame is horrible."

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Frankfort
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events