Women are using #ThisIsNotConsent to tweet pictures of their underwear after rape trial controversy

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Thursday 15 November 2018 13:45
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Picture:(iStock and Twitter screengrab )

Women around the world are posting pictures of their underwear on Twitter to protest a decision by an Irish court to acquit a 27-year-old man of rape after a trial in which a teenager’s thong was used as evidence.

A Cork jury took an hour and a half deliberating on 6 November before finding the defendant not guilty of raping a 17-year-old girl.

Defence barrister Elizabeth O’Connell asked jurors to take into account the underwear the 17-year-old girl was wearing.

"Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?” the Irish Examiner reports O’Connell stating.

You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.

Women took to social media to protest this, arguing that the barrister had engaged in victim-blaming. It doesn’t matter what a woman is wearing, they argue, clothes have nothing to do with consent.

Using the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, women shared pictures of their underwear.

Susan Dillon, one of the women who started the hashtag, and member of the campaign group I Believe Her, told BuzzFeed News:

Simply put, clothing is not consent. This kind of victim blaming is archaic and had no place in our court system.

We wanted something impactful that would draw attention to the issue hence the use of underwear.

Crowds of people turned up on the streets of Ireland to protest, chanting “clothes are not consent".

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