Tuesday, 12 August 2008

It's All Your Fault

So, the BBC informs me that the decision to cut a rape victim's compensation because she had been drinking has been overturned.

This is what we're dealing with. Rape victims can get a poxy £11,000 "standard award", but because she'd been drinking they cut it by 25%, implying that the rape was 25% her fault. It beggars belief that our fucking justice system can hand down such a verdict - the attacker was never found, so nobody was busting out the old "you're just regretting consensual sex" line. It's simply considered acceptable to assume that a woman who has been drinking is by default responsible for any sexual crime. A mugger who attacks drunk people is accused of preying on the vulnerable, so why is rape still considered to be a two-way act?

I'm pleased the decision has been overturned, but really, what's eleven grand to this woman? After being brave enough to report her case and take it to civil court, she then has to continue fighting against the assumption that it was her fault. I don't think she cared about a couple of grand, really, but how can get on with your life when you've essentially been blamed for the worst thing that ever happened to you by the very system that's meant to be in place to protect you? I can't wait for the latest Drink Responsibly ad. Hot on the heels of the guy that drives his wife home when he's pissed and kills them both, and the guy that runs up the scaffolding thinking he can fly and falls to his death, we'll have: "Alcohol makes you responsible for rape. Drink Responsibly: don't drink at all."

I cannot believe she had to fight for this. God speed, anonymous woman.

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