Yesterday I went to speak on This Morning about the need for the anonymity rules to remain as they are, following on from Cliff Richard’s campaign.
The comments that followed on from the programme highlighted just how much people feel for the “poor men” who may have been accused. There seemed to be a mistaken view that false or malicious allegations are rife and that regretted or drunken sex is the only reason that people allege rape.
There seemed absolutely no understanding that the majority of rape victims have been raped. It is quite clear that people do not understand rape or the consequences of rape. So #Rapeis, on Twitter, followed by different feelings, reactions and consequences came about.
We got to number 5 in the trending, and as one (I assume man) said after posting a stupid comment “I was just making a dumb joke”. I hope that by being challenged to read the thread that the word “dumb” was a realisation of how inappropriate his comments were.
Changing people’s perceptions and understanding of rape and the consequences it has will take a long time, but if we don’t try to make that change more people will suffer.
It is time to stand up and support the thousands of people raped each year, take them and their concerns seriously.