Oxford University students stripped down to their knickers today in protest of an Irish rape trial in which the alleged victim’s underwear was used as evidence against her in court.
Around 60 students from the prestigious university marched in Oxford wearing lacy underwear over their clothes waving signs that read ‘this is not consent’.
Some members of the group braved the cold and removed their overcoats to reveal their underwear beneath.
A female protester stripped down to her lacy underwear and held a sign that read ‘Not Consent’ with a pair of knickers stuck to it
Another holds a placard with lacy pink underwear attached, in protest of a defence barrister’s comments during a rape trial in Ireland
A woman braves the cold (left) to get her message across while another demonstrator holds a sign highlighting the injustices of rape
The group of around 60 demonstrators said they wanted to bring an end to ‘victim blaming’
They chanted slogans including: ‘What causes rape? Rapists’, ‘Clothing is not consent’, and ‘I believe her!’
The protest comes on the back of comments made to a jury by defence lawyer Elizabeth O’Connell.
She used the 17-year-old complainant’s lacy underwear to get a 27-year-old man acquitted of rape in Cork.
The defence barrister told jurors that the alleged victim’s knickers were a sign she ‘was open to meeting someone that night’.
Around 60 students from Oxford University gathered to protest the lawyer’s comments
A woman uses a megaphone to chant slogans including: ‘What causes rape? Rapists’, ‘Clothing is not consent’, and ‘I believe her!’
A half-dressed woman holds a sign reading ‘Boys will be held accountable for their actions’
She said: ‘You have to look at the way she [the alleged victim] was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.’
Protest organiser Bryony Streets told Cherwell: ‘The anger I felt only grew as I looked further into the case, moving me to organise a protest against victim blaming.
‘I hope this will show our support for all victims of sexual assault and continue to press the point that victims should never be blamed for the actions of their attackers.’
Students hung up underwear on a clothes line in the middle of Cornmarket Street in Oxford
The demonstrators took issue with the alleged victim’s pants being used as a sign of consent
Ellie McCourt-Clarke, who attended the protest, added: ‘Clothing is not consent and protests like this are only the beginning to change attitudes surrounding that belief.
Everyone should come to make a stand whilst simultaneously supporting anyone affected by rape, sexual assault and its consequences.’