Women are sharing pictures of their underwear on social media in protest after a teenage girl’s thong was used as evidence against her in a rape case.

The hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent trended on Twitter after the 27-year-old suspect was acquitted of rape by an Irish court last week.
The 17-year-old girl’s “thong with a lace front” was presented as part of the defence’s closing address.

In her closing address to the jury, Elizabeth O’Connell SC told jurors they should consider the underwear the girl wore on the night of the alleged rape, the Irish Examiner reported.

She told the Central Criminal Court in Cork: “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?
“You have to look at the way she was dressed.

She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
Noeline Blackwell, the head of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said she was not surprised that the teenager’s underwear was the focus for the defence.

She told The Independent: “The reference to the girl’s underwear and the assumption and inference that the jury was being invited to draw – that because she was dressed like that she was asking for sex – does not surprise us.
“We accompany people to court and the whole time we see rape stereotypes used to discredit complainants and to enforce elements of the defendant’s case.”

The barrister’s comments sparked a furious backlash on social media.
Under the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, women shared pictures of their own underwear in support of the girl and protest at ‘victim blaming’.

Categories: Crime

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