She said she was raising the issue in the wake of the Belfast rape trial earlier this year and a similar case in Cork where outrage was sparked after a teenage girl’s underwear was used as evidence against her in a rape case.
The 17-year-old’s “thong with a lace front” was presented as part of the defence’s closing address in Cork Central Criminal Court this month.
The accused man was unanimously found not guilty. Deputy Coppinger says “rape myths” need to be seriously examined by the judiciary:
Deputy Coppinger explained that:
“The last Rape Crisis Network study estimated, at best, that 10% of rapes ever get reported”.
During her contribution, she displayed the thong which was hidden in her sleeve.
“It might seem incongruous or embarrassing to show a thong in the Dáil but I do so to highlight how a rape victim feels at her underwear being shown in the incongruous setting of a courtroom. When will the Dáil take serious action on the issue of sexual violence?”
“This week, another young woman suffered humiliation during a rape trial in Cork. We cannot comment on the verdict in the case but we need to focus on the lessons from it. Why has nothing been done to stop the routine use of rape myths in trials?”