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Rape case woman to appeal against imprisonment for withdrawing allegations

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A woman sent to prison for “falsely retracting” allegations that her husband had raped her will today launch an appeal against her eight-month jail sentence, The Guardian reports.

There was outrage last Friday after the 28-year-old was jailed for perverting the course of justice after she decided to withdraw allegations that her husband had raped her six times. She retracted the allegations, she said, not because they were false but because she had been “emotionally blackmailed” by her husband and her sister into doing so.

Campaigning groups have called for her immediate release and warned that the prosecution, believed to be a legal first, sent out a “chilling message” to rape victims and ignores the pressures placed on victims by the perpetrators of attacks.

Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “Imprisoning a woman for a ‘false retraction’ of a rape allegation sends out a chilling message that the criminal justice system is still in the dark ages in relation to sexual violence and does not understand the pressure women come under from perpetrators during the legal process.”

She added that the move could make victims less likely to report rape to police if they felt they could themselves be dragged before the courts and face a jail sentence if they did not proceed with the allegations.

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