‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ -Martin Luther King Jr.
I have been contemplating whether to write on this topic as it is an extremely sensitive issue. However as this is a completely anonymous blog and has nothing but my first name, I am safe in the knowledge that I will not reveal anyone’s identity.
A friend of mine was raped at the beginning of this year. I never thought someone close to me would ever have to deal with a situation like that. It is something that I am still reeling from and I cannot begin to imagine what my friend is going through.
She had made the journey from work to the bus stop many times since she started her first retail job (in a quiet and isolated part of London) without any problems whatsoever. Unknown to her, she had been followed to the bus stop that night where the horrendous incident took place.
The case was taken to court where it was concluded that the cretin would serve community service for his crime because it was a first time offence. To say my friend was devastated is an understatement, the unfairness of it is utterly soul-destroying. The violation of another human-being does not even equate to the mere slap-on-the-wrist sentence that had been handed out. How can this be, that a young girl is left physically and psychologically damaged and the man who did this to her gets to literally take a walk in the park picking up empty crisp packets off the grass? It makes me blind with anger and white-hot rage!
That is the unfortunate truth about the British criminal justice system. The victim is made to feel like she has over-reacted and the infraction of her body is equivalent to that of someone stealing a packet of sweets from a News-agents. Does this lenient sentencing then not serve as an encouragement for worthless individuals to commit first time offences rather than to deter them?
Nearly a year on and after undergoing a termination she is facing ongoing health problems and the possibility of never being able to conceive again. Though she has the support of her friends she is too ashamed to tell her family as she does not want to hurt them, and coming from a South Asian background a girls worth is considered to be in her virtue. A happy, bubbly, promising individual that had previously been getting amazing grades at the beginning of her second year of uni only scraped by at the end.
Nevertheless, she is determined and focused on doing the best she can for herself in her final year. She is stronger than I could have ever imagined! This is something that will haunt her for the rest of her life and it is not something that can ever really be forgotten but she has decided to try live her life instead of letting it destroy her.
- Rape: It’s your fault (loudernowblog.wordpress.com)
- Cautions to be scrapped for serious offenders, says Chris Grayling (theguardian.com)
- Press release: Chris Grayling: Simple cautions for serious offences to be scrapped (gov.uk)