Monday, March 15, 2010

Fake Statistics Harm Victims.

Baroness Stern has released a report into how the justice system handles rape:
The figure for convictions of those charged with rape as the term is normally used is actually 58 per cent.

'There is concern that the six per cent figure can make victims feel it is not worth reporting.'

Lady Stern added: 'The conviction rate has taken over the debate to the detriment of other important outcomes for victims.

Her point about how the use of misleading statistics like the supposed 6% conviction rate can harm victims is a good one and is probably not emphasised enough. All too often the overwhelming impression is that a lot noisiest commentators (who will no doubt be denouncing Baroness Stern in the Guardian later today) view it as an ideological tool to beat the patriarchy.

This matters because this ideology creates a barrier to actually dealing with the problem. See here for other examples of how ideologues don't have the interests of victims at heart.

1 comment:

alison said...

I was advised not to bother proceeding and it had an awful effect on me and my family. The stat about 9 out of 10 rapes going unreported (in her report) is what should matter as it certainly reflects my own experience and shockingly a number of work colleagues and friends. The C4 report on this last night was excellent. Trouble is the issue is not treated fairly sensitively or well by anyone. And I'm not limiting that statement to mean feminists. I would include in that male bloggers. I've never read anything you have written Ross but certainly elsewhere, and generally, the approach is less than great to this subject.