Women across the world have been sharing pictures of their underwear on social media with the hashtag '#ThisIsNotConsent', in an expression of their outrage over a 27-year-old man in Ireland being acquitted of rape charges based on the teen survivor's thong.
The Irish Examiner reports that on November 6, the criminal court in the city of Cork declared the defendant "not guilty"of raping a 17-year-old. During the rape trial, a defence lawyer held up the teenager's underwear in court and told the jury: "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."
A jury of eight men and four women let the accused man off.
The case sparked public anger in Ireland, where many women objected to the idea of using underwear to imply consent.
"We had hoped that as a society we had moved on from these archaic, victim-blaming rape myths," said Susan Dillon to CNN. Ms Dillon founded up the "I Believe Her - Ireland" Twitter page that came up with the 'This is not consent' hashtag.
Counsel for man acquitted of rape suggested jurors should reflect on underwear worn by the 17yo complainant. Following this wholly unacceptable comment, we are calling on our followers to post a picture of their thongs/knickers to support her with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsentpic.twitter.com/ZkVU0GVAIN- I Believe Her - Ireland (@ibelieveher_ire) November 10, 2018
Since then, women around the world have been posting pictures of underwear to protest the trial outcome.
Jurors in Cork were asked to consider the underwear a SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL was wearing when she was raped by a 27-year-old man.- Courtney Peterson (@_courtneymaria) November 13, 2018
Join the cause in solidarity, can't believe this girl was subjected to these comments after such a traumatic event.#ThisIsNotConsent#Ibelieveherpic.twitter.com/PfkYERulgY
Irish politician Ruth Coppinger took her protest to Dail Eireann, the lower house of the parliament, where she held up a black lace thong to highlight "routine victim-blaming". She produced the lacy underwear from her sleeve and shared a photo on Twitter.
"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 Dail," wrote Ms Coppinger.
I hear cameras cut away from me when I displayed this underwear in #Dil. In courts victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence and it's within the rules, hence need to display in Dil. Join protests tomorrow. In Dublin it's at Spire, 1pm.#dubw#ThisIsNotConsentpic.twitter.com/DvtaJL61qR- Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) November 13, 2018
Protests now being held across the country - in Galway, Limerick, Dublin, Belfast and Cork - to support the social media campaign.
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