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We May As Well Decriminalise Rape

This workshop will look at the fact that in Britain, more women than any other country in the world are arrested, charged and prosecuted for making so-called false allegations. At the same time, we have one of the lowest conviction rates for rape. Clearly this is connected. The media reporting of rape is atrocious in general, picking out only the masked marauders wielding a weapon, and pouncing on victims in dark alleys, and little is ever written about the everyday mundane rape which makes up the vast majority of sexual assaults on women, those committed by partners, ex-partners and male friends/acquaintances.

This workshop will be lead by:

Harriet Wistrich acted for two of the victims of John Worboys, the so-called black cab rapist and also for women arrested for allegedly making false allegations of rape and for the family of Eleanor de Freitas who took her life just before facing trial for perverting the course of justice. Harriet Wistrich is a solicitor of twenty years experience working with the renowned civil liberties firm, Birnberg Peirce and Partners. She is the winner of the Liberty Human Rights Lawyer of the Year award 2014.  Recently she has founded The Centre for Women’s Justice, a new multi partner organization aimed at bringing cases holding the state to account in relation to violence against women and girls. She is also an active member of the Police Action Lawyers Group, Inquest Lawyers Group, Justice for Women and is a trustee of the charity, the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize. 

Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist with a focus on men's violence towards women and girls. She has reported from Gujarat, India on the 'womb trafficking' surrogacy trade; from Dubai on the trafficking of women into prostitution; Cambodia and Ukraine on the 'brides for sale' business;  the Samburu desert of Kenyan on forced marriage and rape; Vancouver on the missing indigenous women and girls from the Downtown Eastside and Albania on the unsolved murder of a young mother trafficked to a brothel in France.  Julie is on the Advisory Group of Byline.  Her latest book is The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).