Irish politician holds up thong in parliament in protest

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2018

The verdict has caused anger among women's rights campaigners, who have organised a series of protests across the country this week. "She said she never had sexual intercourse before".

'How do you think a woman feels at her underwear being shown in the courts?'

Noeline Blackwell, the head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, told the Irish Independent: "The reference to the girl's underwear and the assumption and inference that the jury was being invited to draw - that because she was dressed like that she was asking for sex - does not surprise us".

Protest organiser and Cork City Councillor Fiona Ryan of Solidarity-People Before Profit said people would no longer allow comments such as these to pass.

However, Coppinger was not pleased with the hearing she got from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, saying: "Unfortunate the Taoiseach didn't answer about the set of things I outlined that needs to be done".

Protests across Ireland were held on Wednesday against what activists say is recurring victim-blaming in rape cases, after a woman's lace thong was controversially cited as evidence against a 17-year-old alleged victim.

"Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?" she asked the court.

On Nov. 6, a 27-year-old man, who denied raping the 17-year-old, was found not guilty by a jury in Cork, which is 250 kilometres southwest of Dublin.

The accused maintained that the sexual contact between him and the girl, which took place in a laneway in Cork, had been consensual.

Then, on 10 November, Twitter account @ibelieveher_ire shared a picture of some underwear with the caption: "Counsel for man acquitted of rape suggested jurors should reflect on underwear worn by the 17yo complainant". The protesting women also clearly stated that what a woman wears does not equal consent hence the hashtag #ThisIsNot consent.

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