So today Mumsnet launched their We Believe You campaign, designed to get rid of the myths around rape and sexual violence, and to tell women that they can be believed when they report attacks.
A very necessary campaign, because one of the ongoing problems with reports in the criminal justice system is that they are not believed.
Last week, Bryony Beynon published a CIF article about street harassment. The overwhelming response in the comments was pure disbelief (with “I’d love it if it happened to me!” a close second.)
Dawn Foster put together a great blog and Storify which illustrates the problem perfectly. We are so used to low-level harassment that we never bother to report it, and if we do, it’s not believed. The same applies to more serious assaults: what was the instant reaction to Nafissatou Diallo’s report, or those of women A and B who accused Assange of rape? Immediate disbelief.
I hope Mumsnet make a difference with this campaign. The only way to change the reporting / conviction rape in sexual assault cases is to change societal attitudes, and I hope this is a step on the right road.