Should people accused of rape and sexual assault be anonymous?

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When a rape case comes to court, the identity of the victim is kept hidden. They have lifelong anonymity. If the jury reaches a guilty or a not guilty verdict, no one will know who they are.

British courts allow the accused to be identified because other victims would come forward to testify, as cases of rape and sexual assault are such a grey area. In turn, witnesses could come forward to say the accused are not guilty.

Some people say anyone arrested should remain anonymous, because their name is dragged through the mud and conclusions are drawn. One charity said: “Why should their lives be for ever associated with these disgusting allegations? The next time they go for a job, or go on a date, these stories will stick to them.”

Others however would say keeping the identity public draws the attention of other victims to come forward. We know a vast proportion of Stuart Hall and Jimmy Savile’s victims would have stayed quiet if the names of their attackers were hidden.

What do you think?

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