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    Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson arrives at Laganside Court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

    #IBelieveHer Trending After 'Not Guilty' Verdicts in Ireland Rape Trial

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    A jury at Belfast Crown Court has declared Ireland and Ulster players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding 'not guilty' of raping a 19 year old student in June 2016.

    #IBelieveHer is trending on Twitter following 'not guilty' verdicts in the trial of two international rubgy players in Northern Ireland; during the ten week trial the accuser gave evidence on eight separate occasions.

    In court she said: "Rape is a game of power and control. The only way to take power back is when you actually do something about it."

    Paddy Jackson was found not guilty of rape and sexual assault. Stuart Olding was found not guilty of rape. The sportsman always denied raping the now 21 year old woman during a party in Paddy Jackson's home on 28 June 2016.

    The professional rugby players will return to the pitch, their careers "blighted" by the false accusations, their lawyers said.

    READ MORE: Pregnany Victims of Modern Slavery left 'Isolated' in London — Charity

    Despite the unanimous 'not guilty' verdicts and statements offered to the press by the rugby player's legal teams, support for the accuser is growing on social media with #IBelieveHer trending on Twitter. 

    ​You are raped, you tell your friends, you attend a doctor, you are examined, you go to the police, you give evidence, you stand trial, you have your underwear held up in court, you are called a tramp, a regretful slut, you did everything right, you never had a chance #IBelieveHer

    ​I served on a rape trial jury last summer. A not guilty verdict does not mean no guilt. The standard of proof required to convict + unanimous agreement from 11 people is such a high threshold, it's a miracle it ever happens. The poor girl. #IBelieveHer

    ​That women actually had the courage to stand up for herself and report her rape, we all saw the texts, the taxi driver knew the reason straight away why he was being contacted, she didn’t consent but justice still wasn’t served #IBelieveHer

    ​READ MORE: #LetHerWork: Brazil's Female Reporters Unite to Reject Unwanted Kisses, Groping

    Ireland's Rape Crisis Network says it will continue to provide support for victims of rape and sexual assault following the unanimous not guilty verdicts in the trial of two rugby international players, Paddy Jackson, and Stuart Olding, and their friends Blane Mcllroy and Rory Harrison.

    ​"If you are a victim of a sexual crime please know that we have free specialist support available so that you never have to be alone. If you choose to report we will be with you every step of the way," the organization tweeted.

    People reacting to the 'not guilty' verdict are turning to social media to support the woman who told the trial that Paddy Jackson had raped her and Stuart Olding forced her to perform oral sex on him and later Blane Mcllroy came into the bedroom naked, asking for sex. #IBelieveHer becomes Twitter's top trend in Ireland.

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    RapeCulture, Trending, hashtag, viral, girl, rugby, rape, Northern Ireland, Ireland
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