This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Real Victim
















Mr "Loophole" Nick Freeman did not say that women who dress provocatively deserve to be raped.  This is, of course, how he has been quoted, after saying that racy garments somehow victimise men.

The fact that Nick Freeman feels victimised by women in skimpy apparel tells you more about Mr Freeman than it does about women, or men.  It tells you nothing whatsoever about rape.

What it does tell you is that you can't win.  Feminist commentators have erupted in fury at the suggestion that it might be a woman's fault if a man thinks she wants sex when she doesn't.  But would they be any happier about the honest take on rape: that many of the victims I have dealt with are so unappealing that you wonder why anyone would even want to have consensual sex with them if it were on offer?

This doesn't include those attacked out running, walking the dog, in their own home, etc.  But it does cover a massive proportion of rape victims, who may suffer with learning difficulties, alcoholism, low self-esteem, repetitive domestic violence and the like.  These women are not dressed provocatively, and their circumstances lead to a demeanour that the majority of right-thinking men are not attracted to.  I am not saying that these women bring rape on them in some way.  But it's a fact that predatory men will seek out vulnerable women, and the resulting abuse is not something that most of society ever have to worry about.

Of course there are cases of "date rape", where the girl may well be dressed to the nines, leading to suspicion that she wanted to attract a bloke.  Whether she wanted the bloke she ended up attracting is another matter.  And in actual cases, the issue of consent rarely comes down to clothing nowadays: despite repeated articles suggesting it, juries are not usually convinced by an argument that sexy clothing plus going home with someone equals consent.  Of course they are contributing factors to the overall story, but are separate from the very thorny issue of the act itself.  A case this week is a prime example, where the girl went to a hotel room and possibly into a bed with her attacker, but he was still found guilty of rape by a jury. 

Cases like this one rarely make it to court - not because they don't happen, but because they lack the kind of evidence required to make a decision either way.  And yet date rapes often involve the more "useable" profile of victim, who when sober is a student, or in employment, and has a network of friends and family supporting them.  What hope is there for the more common profile: the inarticulate, substance-abusing or mentally ill wreck, who has been abandoned by friends, family and society, and is at the whim of whichever violent predator she stumbles across next?

By all means, be outraged by Loophole Nick's injudicious comments.  But don't think it scratches the surface of the issues the police face in trying to bring rapists to justice. 

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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

12 Comments:

Anonymous A Polis Man said...

First

And you need to consider the quote from the offender "though I'd try my luck", shows a belief that consent has not been given, which is the main reason why this one got to court I personally think.

19 June, 2011 16:03

 
Anonymous Juma said...

* injudicious*
BEST WORD EVER to describe Mr Freeman's comments on the matter.

19 June, 2011 17:14

 
Blogger Druid Shift Skipper said...

What you said.

This is a very thoughtful piece. Spot on.

20 June, 2011 20:49

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your caption picture. The phrase "The little piggies" comes to mind.

21 June, 2011 14:34

 
OpenID inspectorgadget said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006373/Female-law-student-jailed-making-rape-allegation-ashamed-failing-university.html

Just saying.....

21 June, 2011 19:21

 
Blogger PC Bloggs said...

And the relevance to the current post is...?

22 June, 2011 12:05

 
Anonymous Juma said...

= nothing at all!

22 June, 2011 13:01

 
Anonymous Smurf said...

On the linked rape case I was very much on the side of the chap when I first read the story.
I totally agreed with him about the motives of girls who go back to hotel rooms, and I had thoughts of an embittered girl who was only claiming rape after she realised she was used and there was no chance of a relationship.
But, reading this "she told how she went to a Newcastle hotel with another man and had sexual contact with him but, after falling asleep, woke up to find Bramble raping her." Totally changed my mind.
I still think that girls who go back to hotel rooms and looking for nookie – but I think they are looking for nookie from the man they went to the hotel with – not from any other person who finds them in the room.
It's also a reminder that journalists can not be trusted to give the whole story, when half a story makes for a much more controversial article.

22 June, 2011 16:10

 
Anonymous No remit Sgt said...

Is it just me or is Gadget turning into a police subsidiary of the Daily Mail? The bloke seems unable to hold a discussion without resorting to cheap shots or irrelevant links. Just saying...

22 June, 2011 17:30

 
Blogger Bill Sticker said...

"Whether she wanted the bloke she ended up attracting is another matter."

To put it in fishing parlance; "You might be out for salmon, but you'll often catch crabs with the same bait."

26 June, 2011 23:53

 
Blogger staghounds said...

If I could change one thing about "news" and artistic portrayal of crime, which is where jurors and legislators get their expectations, it would be to make the victims more realistic. Except for car theft and burglary, almost all crime victims are some kind of vulnerable, non coping, not pretty wreck.

14 July, 2011 16:27

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On rape we often hear that the conviction rate is 6%. No when it goes to court the conviction rate is 58%. the 6& is reports of rape that leave to a conviction. But is that different to other offences? Tell that to somebody who has been burgled. No, I'm not saying burglary is worse, just comparing stats. Most crimes have a derisory
'conviction rate' if you define that by reports leading to conviction.

Why should men cleared of rape have their name tarnished forever while women are still granted anonymity?

18 December, 2011 15:18

 

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