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People are very angry about this Sun headline on soldier Cheryl James

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Picture: PA

The second inquest into the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of 18-year-old private Cheryl James at Deepcut Barracks, Surrey, 20 years ago is being heard this week.

Newspaper coverage of the incident on Friday has sparked further debate about attitudes towards sexism in the armed forces.

The spark:

The Sun published an article on page 9 of Friday's edition in which it referred to what appeared to be an attempted sexual assault, as a “romp”.

Pte James was allegedly locked in a room with a sergeant who attempted to sexually assault her, which the paper reported as: “Cheryl James was locked in a room and chased by a sergeant trying to have his way with her.”

The reaction:

Twitter users have condemned the article as “pathetic journalism” and have called out the publication for shaming the private and smearing her image.

One twitter user wrote:

User @halfrund pointed out the contradiction in the word "romp":

Why this is problematic:

Rape culture is a prevalent problem in Britain: according Rape Crisis, a third of people believe that women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped, and 85 per cent of those who have been a victim of sexual violence do not report it to the police.


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