The streets of Dublin city center were taken over by protesters to highlight injustices in how rape trials are conducted in Ireland. The demonstration comes as a response to a recent case in Co Cork that sparked outrage after a defense barrister referred to the 17-year-old complaint’s underwear during a trial in which a 27-year-old man was acquitted of rape.
The protesters wore revealing outfits to protest against the shaming of victims for their clothes and painted slogans featuring lines such as ‘this is not consent’ and ‘I’m not asking for it’ painted across their bodies.
Pictured above: Stacie Ellen Murphy, Alanna Cassidy, and Lena Seale walking in their underwear along Grafton Street, Dublin.
The protest comes a week after the initial demonstration where feminists protested the result of a court case after a 27-year-old man was acquitted of raping a 17-year-old in Cork.
What sparked even more outrage was the defendant’s lawyer who suggested the jury that the teenager’s lacy underwear meant that she was ‘open to meeting someone and being with someone.’ The courtroom was presented with the young woman’s thong when a female Irish MP held up the lace thong in parliament to highlight ‘routine victim-blaming’.
The protest that followed last week’s mass demonstration had participants holding up underwear and placards that read ‘Stop victim blaming in courts’ while chanting ‘Clothes are not consent.’
This quickly became a trend on social media where a dozen women shared pictures of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent to protest against the verdict and show their solidarity with the teenager.
Pictured: Stacie Ellen Murphy pointing out a slogan.
Meanwhile, minister Ruth Coppinger held up a pair of frilly underwear in parliament, asking lawmakers:
Why is nothing yet being done to stop the routine use of rape myths in trials, and how concerned is this Government about the chilling effect this is having on victims coming forward?
She furiously continued:
It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here in this incongruous of the Dail.
But the reason I’m doing it: how do you think a… woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court? How heroic do you have to be to pursue a rape trial in this country?
Later, she took to Twitter and wrote:
I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in Dail. In courts, victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it’s within the rules, hence need to display in Dáil. #ThisIsNotConsent.
After the case was concluded, the protest had begun in a private Facebook group called Mna na hEireann which means Women of Ireland.
Check out the video below:
Pictured below: Minister Ruth Coppinger holding up a pair of pants in the Irish parliament.
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