Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Women are tweeting pictures of their underwear after rape case

Women are tweeting pictures of their underwear after rape case

According to Ms Coppinger, this is not the first time underwear has been used as evidence within a rape trial in Ireland.

"The women of this country are getting a little tired at the routine victim-blaming going on in Irish courts, and the failure of lawmakers in this House to do anything about it", said Coppinger, who illustrated her point by holding up a black thong.

The barrister told jurors in her closing address that they should look at the way the complainant was dressed, that she was wearing a thong with a lace front.

The jury ultimately found the man not guilty, prompting widespread criticism from women in Ireland - including, on Tuesday, an Irish member of Parliament named Ruth Coppinger.

"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 told the court.

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

How did the protests start?

The chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre also criticized the use of underwear as evidence in the trial, saying there must be reforms and clearer directions at the trial level around issues such as clothing.

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"We've seen recently clothes, fake tan, even contraception being used to discredit women who have the bravery to go to court", she said.

Amid increasing media attention, Irish social media users expressed outrage at the remarks in court.

Earlier this year, Dillon set up the "I Believe Her - Ireland" Twitter page with the aim of providing an anonymous and safe space for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories and to get support. The revelations caused controversy on both sides of the border.

The feminist and pro-choice activist group ROSA has been organizing protests throughout Ireland in opposition to courtroom tactics that blame the alleged victim.

In Cork, up to 200 people marched towards the courthouse and laid down their underwear in protest to "victim-blaming in the courts".

People gather on November 14 for a protest in support of victims of sexual violence in Dublin.

Meanwhile, in the capital under the Spire of Dublin monument, a "washing line" of underwear was hung from one lamppost to the other.

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