You know I can honestly see how this idea seems like a reasonable one: “Hey, rape victims get anonymity. So shouldn’t those they accused get anonymity as well, until they’ve convicted? Of course, those guilty of rape don’t deserve anonymity, which is why they’ll be named after conviction. But those who are innocent don’t deserve to suffer the consequences of a false rape accusation. It’ll be fairer to make it anonymous for everyone.”
1. Rape would be the only crime for which the accused get anonymity. This would mean that:
2. There will be gender disparity in the treatment of defendants: those granted anonymity will be overwhelmingly male.
3. There will be a very strong implication that rape accusations are especially likely to be false and
a. This is not true– the rate of false accusations is the same as for any other crime.
b. This is a very damaging myth, which helps to contribute to the appallingly low conviction figures for rape.
4. The appallingly low conviction figures for rape mean that very few accused rapists will get named.
5. 4 is especially problematic because serial rapists are often caught when victims who had previously hesitated to come forward see their rapists on trial for a different rape.
So, in the end, not a good idea at all.
(Thanks, Mr Jender!)