Women continue to face a culture that judges them, and not the offender

What is it going to take to get rid of the enduring “good girls/bad girls” rape narrative? Controversial consent forms allowing police to examine the mobile phones of rape complainants have been scrapped, little more than a year after they were introduced. These “digital strip searches” were dropped after a lengthy, complex fight, culminating in a legal threat from two survivors whose case was taken on by the Centre for Women’s Justice and funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, arguing that the forms were unlawful, discriminatory and intrusive.

Rape survivors in the UK now owe a huge debt of thanks to the anonymous women, “Courtney” and “Olivia”, who brought the case despite having their own assaults and their aftermath to deal with. Courtney’s rape case was dropped when she refused to hand over her phone. The police demanded seven years of irrelevant data that predated the rape of Olivia. She said: “The police have repeatedly said to the press that they only pursue reasonable lines of inquiry. This is untrue.”

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