DISCLAIMER: this post contains my views on the Stanford rape case and questions sexual consent. This might make for uncomfortable reading for some.
“If you’re still struggling with consent just imagine instead of initiating sex you’re making them a cup of tea” – Thames Valley Police
This week I sat down to read the Stanford Rape victim’s letter. This 7,244 word-letter is a harrowing account of of her rape in January 2015.
Reading about her horrific experience, I had tears running down my face.
What an incredibly brave woman.
Even as I am writing this, I feel that brave doesn’t even do this lady justice!
“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”
After everything she has been through, she still found the strength to sit down and write that letter. This was the reason I read the letter. If she had the courage to write the letter, the least I could do was read it and let her voice be heard.
What she went through – is still going through – should never, ever be experienced.
As for the guilty party, words cannot express how angry it makes me that his sentance was so lenient. He will walk away from this after a few months. There is something seriously wrong with the justice system if this is something that can happen. As a result of this, the internet has exploded with outrage. And, quite rightly so.
Consent is not a hard concept to grasp.
Thames Valley Police produced a simple video which sums the concept of consent up perfectly:
“If you say “hey, would you like a cup of tea?” and they’re like “er you know I’m not really sure…” then you can make them a cup of tea, or not, but be aware that they might not drink it, and if they don’t drink it then – and this is the important bit – don’t make them drink it.”
Thames Valley Police say:
“Together we can stop rape by ensuring everyone knows when they have sexual consent – and when they do not.
Sex without consent is rape
Rape happens to people of all genders and sexualities. About 92 percent of victims are female and eight percent male. Most rapes occur between people who know each other in some way.”
If you want to know more about the campaign from Thames Valley Police, please visit: www.ConsentisEverything.com
Should you be affected by this and need support, please visit: www.rapecrisis.org.uk