Three quarters of you think people accused of rape should be anonymous

British courts allow the accused to be named at the moment

We asked whether the accused in cases of rape and sexual assault cases should remain anonymous. Over 75 per cent of people said yes.

Currently, UK legislation states that in a rape or sexual assault case, the identity of the victim is kept hidden, but allows the accused to be identified.

British courts uphold that the accused can be identified because other victims may also testify, knowing that they are not the only victims. And on the other hand, when the accused are named, witnesses then also have the capacity to say that they are not guilty.

However, after a number of cases in which the accused have been found not guilty, like the recent RAU case, many people have spoken out about how fair the system is. So we asked in a poll whether the accused should remain anonymous.

76.9 per cent said yes, 15.7 per cent said no, and 7.4 per cent were unsure.

The False Allegations Support Organisation, FASO, is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting anyone affected by false allegations of abuse.

Talking to The Tab, Margaret Gardener, Director of FASO, agreed with the vast majority that took our poll. She said: “Anonymity should be there. No one is a victim until a verdict is reached.

“We start on the wrong foot. No one talks about the children at school getting bullied because their family member has been accused. Either have them both anonymised or no one.

“All the resources are there to support someone who thinks they are a victim. This is also not fair to the victims who are genuine.

“You can only get past this if the police don’t tell everyone about the allegation. Because an allegation is made, every single employer who requires a criminal check will still see that and not hire them. They can’t work with children or vulnerable adults, when they try to go abroad to America for example, they won’t be let in.

“I think we might be closer to having anonymity because of all the high profile allegations.”