The Truth About (Rape)
This will prompt the usual flurry of commentary from people who think that this means 95% of accused rapists are "innocent". That x% of victims are liars and that all streets containing police stations are filled with queues of women pointing at men they don't like and begging doctors to shove swabs inside them.
I don't know how many allegations of rape are false. I do know that I am more likely - I would dare to say FAR more likely - to attend an allegation of burglary or robbery that I have my doubts about, than I am to attend a "dodgy" rape. I also know that I am FAR more likely to attend an allegation of burglary or robbery that involves one of the following forms of persuasive evidence:
- Missing items
- Broken stuff
- Supportive family
- An unembarrassed victim
- No links or past history between victim and offender
- A victim who is visibly upset and traumatised
A seasoned detective said to me recently, "Most 'rape' victims just shagged someone and regretted it later. They haven't been 'raped' at all." This is an honestly held belief by most detectives I know. As if women who regret sex immediately tell their husbands, then ring up the police, rather than just keeping quiet. Sadly, there is a handful of women who do do this, for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, most police officers lump together the above with the unbelievably drunk, those with learning difficulties/mental illness, those accusing a friend/ex/partner, those who are uninjured, those who didn't scream, those who aren't sobbing and clinging to the officer's arm.
I'll never forget speaking to a colleague who worked in a Sexual Crimes Unit for many years. The victim of one rape was a young student who had been raped whilst drunk one night. There had been no injuries, little in the way of struggling, witnesses who had seen her kissing the guy earlier in the night. She was absolutely calm and composed throughout the investigation and prosecution. Not a soul in the police force or court believed her. The night after she gave her evidence and was called a slut and a liar in front of her family, she hanged herself.
It doesn't mean she had been telling the truth. But now only one person will ever know, and THAT is the truth about rape.
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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.
Rape Crisis is a charity that provides support and information for rape victims, and assistance to Rape Crisis Centres across the UK. A proportion of proceeds from my book are donated to it.