In court, the accused rapist maintained that the sexual content he had with the girl in a laneway in Cork was consensual.
The teenage girl’s underwear was displayed as evidence during the trial, with the defence lawyer telling the jury: “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
Let’s make this very clear: wearing a G-string is not consenting. Wearing a short skirt is not consenting. Walking down the street naked IS NOT CONSENTING.
The acquittal and victim blaming during the trial has ignited protests and rallies across Ireland, around the world, and online with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.
In the Irish capital Dublin, G-strings were strung up on clotheslines throughout the city centre.
Irish MP, Ruth Coppinger, took the issue to parliament, holding up a lace G-string to highlight “routine victim blaming.”
“It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here… How do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being show in a court?”
After her speech, Coppinger tweeted a photo of her underwear, saying, “I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dail [parliament]. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it’s within the rules, hence need to display in Dail. Join protests tomorrow. In Dublin it’s at Spire, 1pm. #dubw #ThisIsNotConsent.”
Using a rape victim’s underwear as evidence in court is a heinous act victim blaming. A G-string is not an invitation to be raped.
The only person responsible for rape is a rapist. Not their victim’s underwear.