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Facebook ignores requests to delete page advocating rape

10 comments

Jane Osmond
WVoN co-editor

I recently joined a Facebook page entitled ‘I bet we can find 1,000,000 Proud Feminists on facebook’.

A few days ago this group alerted me to another facebook page entitled ‘You know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway’. Classy huh?

I am really quite upset at some of the comments on this page – they are truly awful and, unless the men who have made the comments are all operating under pseudonyms, are being made with no obvious fear of any consequences.

To date, 161,482 people ‘like’ this page, despite comments such as:

I had sex with my girl last night she was screaming another name out -_- anyone know who rape is ?

That was a good chat up line it worked everytime ”don’t scream I’ve got a knife ”. Ha

Even more disturbing are the ‘joining-in with the laugh’ comments made by women who clearly are completely oblivious to the violence against women sensibility that underlines this kind of hate speech.

Meanwhile, asked to ‘report’ this page as being offensive, I duly pressed the button and – as far as I can see – so have a lot of other people disturbed by the blatant mysongyny contained on the page.

Three days later and the page is still up.

I have contacted the Facebook press office for a comment on their lack of action so far in terms of taking the page down.

Meanwhile, a) has anyone got other contact details for Facebook? and b) please report it if you can using the ‘report page’ button at the bottom left of page.

Will keep you posted.

  1. Jo Wood says:

    On Sunday 25th July 2010, Jane Clough was savagely murdered in the grounds of Blackpool Victoria Hospital as she arrived to start her night shift as an A & E nurse.

    Her killer, Jonathon Vass, was her former partner and the father of her baby (name withheld due to ongoing court proceedings). Jane had recently returned to work after her maternity leave finished.

    Vass, a body builder, heavily into steroid abuse had appeared in court on 1st December 2009 charged with 3 counts of rape against Jane. Jane had been strong enough to report the cases to the police and the CPS had met the required thresholds for prosecution of the rapes. He was further charged nine days later with 6 counts of rape, 3 assaults and 1 sexual assault.

    Despite objections by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, and having been told that ‘he was extremely likely to interfere with the witness’ he was released on bail by Judge Simon Newell.

    He was suspended from his job as an ambulance technician and then dismissed in May 2010.

    Throughout the period, Jane was in hiding with her young daughter at her parents’ home as she was convinced that Vass intended to harm her. Despite her, and her family and police concerns, Vass was not re-arrested.

    Jane had been awarded a residence order and sole custody of her child until she was 16.

    Jane had only been back at work for about 6 weeks after her maternity leave ended, Vass brutally attacked her as she arrived to start her night shift inflicting muliple stab wounds before cutting her throat.

    Since her murder, Jane’s family, supporters and friends have campaigned actively for a change to the law that allows such an event to occur.

    They have been advised to date

    1. That every individual has the right to bail and that bail will be granted unless there is reasonable belief that the suspect will interfere with material witnesses

    2. That all judges listening to rape trials have received specific training on the issue of rape – although to date no one has been able to gain information about that training.

    3. That there is no right of appeal from the Police or CPS against a Judge’s decision re bail.

    The family’s MP, Andrew Stepehnson was granted 10 minutes on 28th June to recommend an amendment to the Bail Bill that allows for such an appeal to take place where there is the strong belief that the judge has “got it wrong”

    I have volunteered to work one day a week on the “Justice for Jane” campaign because I truly believe that Jane’s family deserves justice for their daughter and together we need to make sure that this cannot happen again.

    The family, together with supporters from Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Community Midwives, Families Fighting for Justice and myself as representative from Rape Crisis, launched a website and campaign “Justice for Jane” on Thursday 28th July

    At the conference which was well attended by approx 200 people, we heard from further families that had been denied any form of justice after losing loved ones.

    Andrew Jones seeks justice for the murder of his son in Liverpool in March 2003

    Jean Taylor seeks justice for the murder of her sister Joyce in 1998 and her daughter in 2004.

    Doreen Soulsby seeks justice for the rape and murder of her daughter Joanne.

    All of these families have received a life sentence – made worse by the fact that the very system they believed in, has let them down.

    The Clough Family seeks

    1. An apology from Judge Simon Newell for the indefensible decision to grant Vass bail given the charge list.

    2. An apology from Judge Anthony Russell who on sentencing Vass for Jane’s murder, described the other charges (nine rapes and four assaults) as ‘Insignificant’

    3. That the rape cases be prosecuted as Jane was brave enough to come forward and disclose them. At present, Vass is not a convicted sex offender and if released will not therefore be required to sign the sex offenders register.

    4. A change to the law that allows judges to make full and final decisions around bail situations where those closely involved in the case, i.e. victims, the police and the CPS oppose such bail being granted.

    5. Better training fro the judiciary around rape and the effects.

    Obviously this is of great interest to anyone working in the field of sexual and domestic violence. We are mindful that such adverse publicity may discourage reporting – something we have spent years trying to encourage.

    While I understand some of the issues concerning not trying the rape cases due to a guilty plea and conviction for murder, I do feel that it is most definitely in the public interest to try the rape charges against Jane for the following reasons

    1 While Vass is serving a sentence for murder he is not being treated as a sex offender
    2 When Vass is ultimately released from prison, he will not have to sign the sex offenders register, which, considering his crimes seems totally wrong
    3 Victims will feel very insecure reporting serious rape and sexual assaults when the alleged perpetrators are then released on bail
    4 Jane’s parents and family will NEVER be able to reach any form of closure while this injustice remains.

    It is not only un-convicted rapists that get such privileges.

    In a recent case in Liverpool, a man convicted of raping and sexually abusing a young girl was advised that he would be receiving a substantial custodial sentence. He was then BAILED awaiting sentencing.

    This cannot be right and his victim remained in hiding until he was finally incarcerated. She was clearly aware she could easily become another Jane Clough.

    Whatever the reasons for the rape charges to be laid on file, surely, out of a sense of human decency and justice, such charges should now be brought to court and prosecuted.

    We need to regain our faith in a criminal justice system that is systematically failing the very people it seeks to protect – the innocent victims.

    We need support for the petition to change the bail laws – will you help?

    In a civilised society, this is a disgrace. – yet they allow jokes to be made on facebook like it doesnt matter!

  2. Sadly Facebook rarely take these pages down 🙁 But I’ve found that what you can do is look at who is making the most disgusting comments and see if they’ve got an open profile. If they do, and their place of work is listed there, then you can always send an email to their employer telling them that they have one employee who is a rape advocate. Employers don’t like that sort of thing…

  3. Melissa says:

    I was happy to report the page, and encourage my FB friends to do so. One of the comments on there that I glanced over nearly made me vomit. These people just don’t understand.

  4. Karalyn says:

    yes it is strange that boobies for breastfeeding can be banned but blatant violence against women is allowed. Facebook is a disgrace to women in general and should be ashamed of itself!!!!!!

  5. Carole Laurie says:

    It’s still up,but reported it

    • Good on yer, for some reason I can’t report it. I am inclined to blame browser weirdness rather than malicious FB settings though.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      It is a chilling fact that the broadsheets are likely to oppose such a letter. Women’s safety at some point became less important than the freedom of speech of rapists.

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