A caution for rape. Rape?
The Times is reporting today that in the last year for which figures are available (2004) 40 offenders (who admitted the offence) were cautioned for rape, i.e. they got a bit of a talking to down at the police station, and that was that.
It is one of those stories to which the first reaction is horror, but listening to various explanations this morning (very young offenders for whom psychiatric treatment has been arranged and even younger victims, or crimes that occurred decades ago) I suppose there may be cases where it is appropriate - at least it puts the attackers on the sex offenders' register, which helps to protect others. And it may save victims giving evidence in court - although of course that just highlights what an ordeal that still is.
Of course many women around the world get even less protection - attempts are now being made to save the life of an Iranian woman, Nazanin:
Amnesty International has said the woman was 17 when she reportedly admitted stabbing to death one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in Karaj in March 2005.
Now 18, Nazanin was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging.
Amnesty International and human rights workers said they had been unable to contact her family, and did not know whether legal appeals were scheduled.
An interesting comment piece in the Guardian not so much for its contents - a fairly standard debate about "the Enlightenment", what it was and what it is today, but the fact that it is structured pretty well entirely as a reaction to Guardian blog material.