Rape: The Injustice of Justice

Community Service for Rape?

‘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.

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9 thoughts on “Rape: The Injustice of Justice

  1. These kind of stories make me so angry. Similar things happen here in the states. We recently had a 54 year old teacher get only a 30 day sentence for raping his teenage student because the judge felt the girl was “older than her chronological age”, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Community service is just insulting to rape survivors everywhere. I never had the courage to report my rape…and stories like this are part of the reason why. Sending love and support to your friend. I hope she finds healing, if not justice 🙂

    • Thank you for your response and support Aimee! That is absolutely ridiculous!
      Every time I think about it, I feel this uncontrollable anger! I cannot understand how my friend can keep it together so well, she is an incredible individual! It is greatly saddening and I am so very sorry to hear about what happened to you. She did also say something similar, that had she known that the sentencing would have been so lenient she would not have put herself through the ordeal. Steps are being taken to eradicate this soft sentencing, but not fast enough in my opinion!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Sending lots of support to your friend. The justice system just fails girls time and time again. It is so sad that this person and so many other offenders get off nearly scot free yet this will haunt victims for the rest of their life. Just unfair. I am glad steps are being taken, but as you said, not fast enough!!

  3. Thank you for writing this story. Violence against women is the most abhorrent crime to me – I simply can’t understand how a man, whose natural instincts should be to protect the (physically) weaker sex, can hurt a woman. This “punishment” – or rather lack of it – is unbelievable, but I don’t think it’s a failure of the British system only. There’s something wrong with the society world-wide. Best wishes to your very strong friend!!

    • Thank you! I agree it is not a failure of the British system alone, however I feel that every justice system that lets a woman’s attacker walk free with nothing but a slap on the wrist has a weak and unfair justice system. The is definitely something wrong with society world-wide!

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