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Culture > News

A Teenage Girl’s Underwear Was Reportedly Used In A Sexual Assault Trial & Now Irish Feminists Are Protesting Using #ThisIsNotConsent

A 27-year-old man was found unanimously not guilty for the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Ireland. What came as a startling shock to the public was what many advocates considered victim-blaming presented by the defense. Elizabeth O’Connell, representing the accused, suggested to the jury that the girl’s underwear should be considered when trying to understand the man’s actions, according to The Independent.

The Irish Times reports that O’Connell argued, “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.”

This apparent use of victim blaming has sparked an uproar on social media, with the use of #ThisIsNotConsent attached to photos of underwear.

Irish politician, Ruth Coppinger showed a pair of underwear in the chamber — to force members to acknowledge the absurdity of this form of evidence.

The cameras cut out this incident, but she did not hesitate to display that same pair of laced underwear on Twitter with a clear message: #ThisIsNotConsent.

ROSA (Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity) Socialist Feminist Movement has decided to hold a protest against victim blaming in Cork on Wednesday to show their forceful opposition to using what women wear, drink or say against them as victims/survivors of sexual assault.

Greer is a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Queen's U and a News x Social intern for Her Campus. She is a fourth year Political Science major with a Sociology minor. She is from the US of A but still has maple syrup running through her blood. Her most acknowledged skills include eating an entire jar of Nutella in one day and watching Buzzfeed videos for up to 8 hours straight.