Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

7th December 2006

 

Green MEP Slams Juries Who Blame Women For 'Drunk Rape'


Green Euro MP, Jean Lambert, has today spoken out in anger against juries who blame women if they are raped whilst drunk, even if their drink has been spiked.

Jean Lambert, who has continued to campaign against sexual exploitation since her election in 1999, said the figures confirmed today by the Economic and Social Research Council were of grave concern.

Jean commented; "With over 50,000 rapes in the UK each year but only 600 rapists sent to jail rape prosecution figures for the UK are utterly shocking. Today's revelation is absolutely appalling and adds to the fear and dissatisfaction that victims feel surrounds the whole rape prosecution process.

"The boundaries and definition of sexual consent are currently so blurred that even the courts are having difficulty in convicting the perpetrator. Even though the law recently changed in an attempt to boost convictions it seems that it was not enough.

"Not only do we need to redefine the law on a person's ability to consent to sex, but we must change attitudes surrounding what rape entails. Maybe it is time to introduce issues of consent as part of education in schools.

"What ever the circumstances, whether the victim is drunk, has had their drink spiked or is simply not in a situation where they can say 'No' or 'Yes', rape should not and can not be seen as an excusable crime."

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.