A court in Peru thrashed a rape case after citing that the victim wore ‘red underwear’ at a party which was a clear signal that she intended to have sex.
According to the South Zone Transitory Supraprovincial Collegiate Criminal Court in Peru, the victim’s choice of wearing the ‘red underwear’ gave the impression that she was prepared and willing to have sex with the alleged rapist (defendant).
Furthermore, the judge stated that the victim was not shy as she claimed and acquitted the defendant citing her choice of underwear as evidence.
There has been a national outcry across Peru after the decision with women taking to the streets in protest and many wearing ‘red underwear’ around their legs.
The incident which was reported in January 2019 involves a 22-year-old man who was accused of rape while the victim’s age is said to be 20 years old but the identities of both have been kept confidential.
According to the details, the victim said that she fell unconscious after being taken to a party under false pretenses by the accused and woke up completely naked in his bed the next day.
However, the accused claimed that the allegations against him were just a form of ‘revenge’ by the victim while the Judges Ronald Anayhuaman Andia, Diana Jurado Espino and Lucy Castro Chacaltana threw out the case stating that women only wear ‘red underwear’ when intending to have sexual intercourse.
Judges say ‘red underwear’ used to signal sex
The judges trashed the case saying:
The supposed personality represented by her [the victim] (shy) does not relate to the undergarment she used on the day of the incident as this type of women’s underwear is normally used on special occasions leading to moments of intimacy, which gives the impression that the woman prepared or willing to have sexual relations with the accused.
Following the decision, protests erupted in Lime, the capital of Peru, with women taking to the streets to show solidarity with the alleged victim while wearing ‘red underwear’ around their legs.
Some of the protests held placards reading, “Listen up, judges. Don’t use my underwear to justify rape” and “Lace is just lace, it’s not an insinuation.”
However, the Public Ministry of Peru issued a statement following the court’s decision on October 30th saying that it had requested for retrial of the matter at a different court.
The Ombudsman’s Office also requested for the matter to be taken up by a new court while Peru’s Ministry of Women rejected the judgement saying:
The eradication and punishment of violence against women can only be possible with an impartial Judicial Power that is aware of its fundamental role in order to eradicate rape and discrimination based on gender,