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#ThisIsNotConsent Protesters Use Underwear in Irish Rape Trial that Sparks Outrage

“You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front," said lawyer defending man later acquitted of raping teen.

Women tweeting #ThisIsNotConsent after underwear used as evidence in rape trial

By Saphora Smith, NBC News

LONDON — Women carrying lacy underwear took to the streets across Ireland this week after a man was acquitted of rape in a trial that featured a 17-year-old's thong as a line of defense.

The demonstrations organized under the hashtags #ThisIsNotConsent and #EndVictimBlaming were launched after the 27-year-old was found not guilty on Nov. 6.

“Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?” defense attorney Elizabeth O’Connell asked jurors in the southern city of Cork, according to the Irish Examiner. “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

Protests were held in Dublin, Limerick and Cork Wednesday, and another was slated for the city of Waterford on Friday.

On Tuesday, lawmaker Ruth Coppinger held up a blue lacy thong in Ireland's parliament, known as the Dáil, to protest the government’s inaction over the issue of sexual consent.

Irish lawmaker Ruth Coppinger holds a thong during a protest in Dublin. Niall Carson / PA/AP

“It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here in this incongruous setting of the Dáil,” she told fellow lawmakers. “But the reason I’m doing it is, how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in court.”

Coppinger later tweeted that in Ireland victims can have their underwear passed around as evidence in court, and called on people to join the protests.
Pictures of the protests in Cork posted on social media showed a sea of lacy thongs draped along the steps of the courthouse as activists held placards in protest against victim blaming.

One sign read: “Why does the Irish court have their knickers in a twist over ours?”
Irish Rape Trial that Sparks Outrage

Protesters in Dublin hold up their underwear in support of victims of sexual violence on Wednesday.

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U.S. Daily News: #ThisIsNotConsent Protesters Use Underwear in Irish Rape Trial that Sparks Outrage
#ThisIsNotConsent Protesters Use Underwear in Irish Rape Trial that Sparks Outrage
“You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front," said lawyer defending man later acquitted of raping teen.
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