24/04/2012 12:22 BST | Updated 24/04/2012 15:08 BST

Ched Evans Rape Victim Identified: Police Say Arrests Have Been Made

There are reports that North Wales Police has made a number of arrests in connection with Twitter users naming the woman raped by Ched Evans.

After the Sheffield United footballer was jailed for five years on Friday, fans of the striker went online to name and abuse the victim.

The anonymity of rape victims is protected by law and revealing someone's identity carries a fine of £5000.

A spokesman for North Wales police said that arrests had been made and that the force was also investigating Sky News after it too revealed the woman's identity, according to the Guardian. It has not been revealed how many people hade been arrested.

Earlier on Tuesday, the force said in a statement that “we wish to reassure victims of serious sexual offences of our continuing determination to support them.

"Arrests will be made as part of its investigation following comments made on social media sites identifying the victim in the Ched Evans rape case.

"The Force is reminding people that the law gives rape victims and other victims of serious sexual offences, anonymity for life and that if anyone publishes a victim’s identity they will be subject to investigation and possible criminal proceedings.

ACC Gareth Pritchard said: “North Wales Police will seek to ensure that the legal anonymity of victims in rape cases under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, is protected and those who commit offences in this regard will be brought before the criminal justice system."


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The naming and abuse of the rape victim was widely condemned by rape charities. The issue was compounded when Sky news channel accidentally published the woman's name as well, after it broadcast an image of Twitter users discussing the case.

Fiona Elvines, from the Rape Crisis Centre South London, condemned the individuals who had revealed the victim's name, saying that it was "really, really worrying that people aren't taking this seriously."

"This happened while the woman in question was recovering not just from the rape, but from the difficulty of the trial, which survivors of rape often call a second form of abuse.

"It's not just in the individual's interest that anonymity is maintained but in the public interest. Anonymity helps put rapists behind bars.

"It's because of rape myths and the social stigma that survivors of rape are given anonymity.

"[The comments on Twitter] are creating a cycle where survivors of rape are being blamed. The CPS need to send a really strong message out, that you can't just break the law because you think you are supporting your football club."

Vivienne Hayes, Chief Executive of the Women's Resource Centre echoed her comments. She told The Huffington Post UK she was "appalled that a woman who suffered such a horrific crime has had her name published on social media sites and smeared in such a repulsive manner.

"Rape is a serious crime with severe consequences for the victim, for this to happen is akin to being attacked all over again.

"Rape convictions in this country are far too low, and what women will want to come forward if this is the fate they will suffer?”

Updated 18:56 with confirmation of arrests from North Wales Police