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How To Get Rape Numbers Entirely, Wholly, Wrong

What do you expect as an illustration of rape?

The Telegraph reports that:

Rape victims are eight times more likely to get justice in some police force areas than others in England and Wales, Home Office figures reveal.

North Yorkshire police force is the most successful with one in seven (14.2 per cent) rapes resulting in the sex attacker being charged, according to the data for 2018/19.

This isn’t how it works, no. Rape is an oddity as far as the existence of the crime itself is concerned. It isn’t, weirdly, something which happens or is done then we pursue it. Rather, whether or not a rape has occurred is an outcome of the legal system.

What is actually happening there with those numbers is that one in seven claims of a rape having occurred lead to someone being charged with being the sex attacker.

For the point is that having consensual sex isn’t a crime, it’s the non-consent bit which is and causes the crime. Largely, but not always, it is a claim about consent or not, something that needs to be tested. The claim itself is not enough.

Thus we cannot say that “x reported rapes” or “x claims of rape” are the same as “there were x rapes”. Because whether there was a rape or not is an outcome of the process we’re initiating.

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4 years ago

Because whether there was a rape or not is an outcome of the process we’re initiating. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound? (a quick rummage round various online dictionaries doesn’t suggest that whether there was a rape or not depends on a conviction in court.) Besides, isn’t it a distraction from the interesting bit in the first line of the report? There’s either a huge difference in complainants or a huge difference in policing between the different police force areas. There’s either some very good stuff… Read more »

Gavin Longmuir
Gavin Longmuir
4 years ago
Reply to  NDReader

But what is the “bad stuff”. The most “successful” authority finds only 1 allegation of rape out of 7 is serious enough to result in a charge. No mention of how many of those charges result in an actual conviction. This implies at least 6 out of 7 women who assert they were raped were in fact not raped. We would need a lot more information to determine why — morning-after regret? dumped girlfriend syndrome? feminists who draw no distinction between a wolf whistle and forcible penetrative intercourse? Having so many unsupportable accusations of rape detracts from the true horror… Read more »

4 years ago

Rape is no more an oddity than theft. Taking something that does not belong to you becomes theft depending on consent in a similar way to sex becoming rape. The equivalence is not exact, of course, because there are ways to take without consent which are blocked from being theft (such as taxes). The main difficulty with rape, compared to theft, is that it’s generally much more obvious if someone was consenting to having property taken than if they were consenting to sex, as sex is typically done in a much more private setting and the motivation is much more… Read more »

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