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Is the Labour Party dragging its feet?

(21 Posts)
MawBroon Mon 17-Sep-18 17:23:43

While I am sure this was not a unique occurrence, does it worry you that progress is very slow in this area?

Chewbacca Mon 17-Sep-18 17:30:13

Probably kicked it into the long grass, hoping it will be forgotten Maw.

eazybee Mon 17-Sep-18 18:12:37

I have just listened to the interview with Bex Bailey; what I couldn't understand was why she has not reported this rape to the police. This is a genuine question, not an attempt to score political points.
Surely this is not a political party matter but a criminal one?

Anniebach Mon 17-Sep-18 18:28:43

It was seven years ago, she was 18, advised that speaking of it could damage her. To ask why didn’t she report it then is a question the women in ‘me too’ should be asked too.

The question now is why has nothing been done since she did report it

Grandad1943 Mon 17-Sep-18 18:49:38

I certainly am no lawyer. However, it seems to me that rape should immediately be reported to the police. Should any person(s) investigate such a matter without the "crime" also undergoing police investigation, then those persons could be perverting the course of justice in my view.?

MaizieD Mon 17-Sep-18 22:38:35

The question now is why has nothing been done since she did report it

Something was done

From the newspaper report:

In response, party officials appointed leading QC Karen Monaghan to carry out an independent investigation into Ms Bailey’s case and the wider issue of sexual harassment in the party.

Sorry. The girl claims she was raped. She didn't go to the police because she was told it would 'damage' her. Now, I'd understand if she hadn't reported it because the 'damage' she was threatened with was physical violence but I'm struggling to see what was so important to her that she was prepared to keep quiet about rape in order to attain it...

And I'm wondering what made her feel she should speak out about it 6 years later?

I hate to be suspicious because rape is a truly horrible act and women should support each other. But there's something I don't like about this story.

Chewbacca Mon 17-Sep-18 22:46:59

Rolf Harris was sentenced for sexual assaults that took place from as far back as 1971 and that case only came to court in January 2017 so that took 46 years to come to courts MaizieD.
And we all know about Saville by now don't we? He abused young women for decades and he was dead by the time anyone thought to do anything about it.

If there is no substance to Bex Bailey's claims then the LP would surely be better to have a full and open investigation into it to clear it all up. Don't you think?

MaizieD Mon 17-Sep-18 23:51:38

I'm not saying there's no substance to her claims.

The Rolf Harris case is, I think, irrelevant to this. Dammit, I lived through the 60s and 70s. The whole attitude to women, and what we put up with, was completely different then.

What happened to feminism? What happened to bringing up our daughters to not feel that they have to be submissive to men; that they should act on rape? What happened to all the pressure to get women who report rapes to be taken seriously, not treated like semi criminals who 'deserved it'.? This story is like this fight never happened.

Why isn't there a criminal prosecution?

I don't like this.

Anniebach Tue 18-Sep-18 10:25:34

If a crime isn’t reported to the police how can there be any prosecution?

MawBroon Tue 18-Sep-18 10:56:37

Ms Bailey has said she had been told by senior Labour figures not to report the attack by a fellow activist at a party event six years ago because it could damage her political career. She said she had been allowed to read the report – which was submitted to the party in May – at Labour’s headquarters under the supervision of a member of staff

She was only what, 18 or 19 at the time? It is perhaps easy for us mature women to say it should have been reported to the police, but rape victims do not always get the sympathetic reception we might hope for. I have no idea of statistics, but I wonder how many young women are intimidated or afraid to go to the police.
Yes, perhaps she was naive, but as Grandad says, those guilty of covering up a rape were guilty of perverying the course of justice.

MawBroon Tue 18-Sep-18 10:57:06

“Perverting” oops!

Anniebach Tue 18-Sep-18 11:06:05

Nothing the law could do if the girl didn’t want to speak out, no one covered up a rape , unless they were witnesses , they didn’t report allegations of a rape but the girl would have to be willing to name the attacker, all the details to the police.

If a friend said to you ‘I have been raped’ you told the police they would question the girl not you, all you claim would be hearsay.

lemongrove Tue 18-Sep-18 11:07:38

Sounds as if she was persuaded to drop it at the time and as she was younger then, more likely to have felt partly to blame.Many victims of rape/sexual assault feel guilt for not fighting back, even if it would have been dangerous to do so.
Disgraceful that she should have been asked not to report it to the police.

Grandad1943 Tue 18-Sep-18 12:24:39

Lemongrove, IF she was asked not to report it to the police.

Is there any independent evidence that this person was subjected to such a request?

MawBroon Tue 18-Sep-18 12:57:17

There may or may not be corroboration of her accusation. Rape accusations in the same way can come down to one person’s word against another’s, which is why convictions can be hard to obtain and a victim unwilling or afraid to put herself through further stress.
The fact that is was investigated and some action taken does suggest that credence was given to her story. A murky tale whatever.
The morals of politicians of all political persuasions and indeed nationality, I suppose all people in a position of power, leave much to be desired.

Grandad1943 Tue 18-Sep-18 14:32:42

I feel it may be relevant to this thread that the Equalities Act came into existence in 2010. That act placed far higher emphasis on harassment and bullying, especially in workplace situations. Many employers and other organisations carried out investigation reviews to ensure their grievance and disciplinary procedures complied with the new act.

As this allegation seems to have arisen at the time when the Labour party may have been reviewing their harassment and bullying procedures in regard to the act, it may have been that the matter was brought forward as part of that review.

However, should the above be the case then immediately Bex Bailey made the rape allegations to any member(s) of the review team, then the matter should have been placed in the hands of the police or those hearing the accusation would run the risk of being accused of perverting the course of justice.

If Bex Bailey had only spoken on the matter in the course of the review rather than making a formal written allegation statement to those empowered to deal with such issues within the Labour party, then that may give some reasoning why (if it is indeed the case) Bailey was given the advice she received.

The above stated, it still leaves why whoever heard the allegation in the first instance did not immediately contact the police. I believe anyone experienced in hearing harassment and bullying accusations would have informed Bex Bailey on hearing the allegation that the matter had to be placed in police hands as she had at that point involved a third person in what is a very serious crime allegation.

Just my thoughts?

trisher Tue 18-Sep-18 14:58:56

And of course the opportunity to report this to the police remains open. It would of course be harder to prove, but unlike other countries we have no statute of limitations and no time limit on reporting such things. It would seem the logical way to proceed if she is unhappy with Labour's handling of things. At least then she would be able to publish the name of the individual involved. (Although why she doesn't just do that anyway I don't understand)

Fennel Tue 18-Sep-18 15:13:56

There's a lot of difference between sexual harassment and rape. Many women, including me, have been subject to sexual harassment at work.
But rape is a serious criminal offence, but difficult to prove (as someone said above.)
Oh dear, what a mess

Grandad1943 Tue 18-Sep-18 16:12:59

Further to the above, in only reporting the alleged rape to personnel within the Labour party, what did Bex Bailey expect them to do. At the very worst Labour could only expel the alleged perpetrator from the party, which would hardly be justice for the very serious crime of rape.

In that, the act of expelling a member would undoubtedly have to involve a considerable number of people, any or all of whom could find themselves accused of perverting the course of justice should the police become involved at a later date.

I believe Bex Bailey needs to explain much further why she informed Labour party personal of this very serious crime but not the police.

Grandad1943 Tue 18-Sep-18 16:15:24

Apologies, should read personnel above not personal.

trisher Tue 18-Sep-18 16:50:11

I googled her to find out more, she actively campaigns and writes about supporting women and especially those who have been sexually harassed. It does concern me that if the man who did this to her is still attending party events he could still be targetting young and vunerable women. I always thought one of the reasons for speaking out about rape was that it encouraged others to come forward.