IRELAND (CNN) - An Irish jury found a man not guilty of raping a 17-year old girl.
During the trial, the suspect’s lawyer argued the underwear the teen was wearing at the time implied consent.
The jury was asked to consider, “Does the evidence out rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
Ruth Coppinger, an politician, took her protest to the floor of the Irish Parliament.
“It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs here in the incongruous setting of the Dáil (Éireann.) But the reason I’m doing it, how do you think how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court,” Coppinger asked.
Irish women erupted over what they said was victim blaming by posting photos of their own underwear along with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent on social media.
And women around the world soon started posting in solidarity, too.
Irish women also held up their underwear during street protests against the not guilty ruling.
"Women, young women in particular, but older women like me, are just fed up with this kind of nonsense,” one protester said. “I mean, I have a 19-year-old daughter. Has she to question what kind of underwear she wears going out at night? I think those days are gone."
"Consent cannot come from clothing. It can't come from a piece of material. It can only come from the person," another protester stressed.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he can’t interfere in the way individual court cases are held, but a review is underway to see if improvements can be found in the way such trials are conducted.
Varadkar also said, “It doesn’t matter what you wear, nobody asks to be raped and it is never the victim’s fault.”
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