ARGUMENTS IN FAV:1. The legal system does not always offer justice to the victims of rape. Those who defend rapist shaming online argue that, despite some recent reforms, the criminal justice system offers women very little opportunity to see their abusers charged and successfully convicted. Indeed, it is claimed, knowledge of how unlikely they are to receive any form of legal redress leads many who have suffered rape not to report the crime.In an analysis published in The Guardian on September 13, 2016, dealing with the increasing incidence of online rape allegations, statistics were given regarding the numbers of successful rape prosecutions that occur annually in the United States. The article claims ‘Not surprisingly, most people who are raped do not turn to law enforcement for help. For every 1,000 rapes in America, 344 are reported to police, 63 reports lead to an arrest, 13 cases get referred to prosecutors, and seven will lead to a felony conviction, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Only six rapists out of 1,000 will be put behind bars.’ The Guardian analysis refers to Patti Giggans, the executive director of the United States advocacy group, Peace Over Violence, who states, ‘Even with the advances we’ve made, going through the justice system is an ordeal and still, most rapists are not convicted. That hasn’t changed.’The same point was made by Lisa Pryor in a comment published in The New York Times on August 10, 2017. Apparently referring to the situation in Australia, Pryor remarked, ‘Publicly accusing rapists is far from a perfect solution, but at a time when a vast majority of rapes still go unpunished by the criminal justice system, despite decades of reforms aimed at making the process more hospitable to victims, it may be one of the few options that many victims have for bringing some consequences to bear on those who rape.’Pryor further noted, ‘It is time to accept that the criminal justice system may never be capable of providing justice for the vast majority of sexual assaults. The problem is not that we do not take rape seriously; we take it so seriously that we demand silence about perpetrators unless we are reporting on a court case and, as a result, very few perpetrators face any consequence at all.2. Publicising alleged rapists would warn potential victimsMany of those who favour naming alleged rapists online claim that this may be the only way that other women can be protected from being assaulted by these men. Many women who have accused their supposed rapists online have stated that they see this as a means of warning and thus protecting other women.Sydney writer, Erin Riley, has indicated that she wishes she had made the name of her rapist known as he went on to rape another woman whom she knew. In an analysis published on the ABC on August 5, 2017, Riley states, ‘I felt so guilty. I felt like if I had recognised it and if I’d said something earlier, if I’d warned her…’ The ABC briefing referring to the online naming of alleged rapists states ‘Despite police warnings that public shaming could backfire, women across Australia are joining private Facebook groups that share stories about which men to avoid.’It quotes one women who has made such posts stating, ‘I’m a part of the secret underground feminist mafia that tells all of my friends, and even just women I meet … about who the bad guys are, who the rapists are.’News Corps journalist, Lauren Ingram, has similarly posted her alleged rapist’s name online, at least in part to warn other women. Ingram states, ‘I felt naming him, my abuser, online was my only option. I knew he had assaulted at least one other woman and I was driven by a need to protect others from a man who is a serial rapist.’ARGUMENTS AGAINST:3. The alleged rapist’s reputation may be damaged within their community and beyond.There have been repeated cases of those accused of rape and other forms of sexual assault being harassed, often with unfortunate consequences for the person being publicly accused.


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