I was raped 35 years ago and didn’t report it and I wouldn’t do it today – our police force is worse than ever
AFTER Baroness Casey’s investigation at the Met Police, Susanna Reid admitted to Good Morning Britain this week that not only is she “scared for women”, but that she would not report it if she was raped.
I know for a fact that she is not the only one.
As a woman, I feel very vulnerable. Right now I would be deeply uncomfortable with any kind of interaction with the police.
And, to make matters worse, on March 15 an apparently innocent A4 printout was hung in the window of Maidstone police station in Kent urging people who were victims of “non-emergency crimes” to get the police involved an internet contact form.
That list, which also included “road traffic incidents,” included “rape and sexual assault.” That was a little over a week ago.
As if not reading the room was damaging enough, this is further evidence that the enduring, hard-edged culture within all police forces is one of sexism, misogyny, apathy, and essentially an indifference to women and their safety.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned not to jump to conclusions, but I assume it was a man who put up this poster in the train station.
When it was removed, Det Chief Superintendent Emma Banks was quick to explain that Kent Police take sexual assault investigations “extremely seriously”.
Unfortunately, we’re all done on purpose. We’re done with reviews and requests.
We don’t need any more words. We need action.
We’ve all witnessed how crime has changed over the decades and how difficult police methods and resources may have been to keep up.
Some might say that rape hasn’t changed, but our interpretation of it has certainly changed.
While “no” still means no, we now understand that situations, circumstances, and the way we portray rape have definitely changed.
Rape can happen at home – lest we forget there was a time when a husband had every right to rape his wife.
Rape can be committed by someone you know and trust.
When I was raped in a hotel room at the age of 20, there was no recognition of “date rape” – there was no such crime.
And that was the main reason I never went to the police, because society had taught me that being alone in a room with a man was my fault – as a woman.
I lived with this guilt and felt it for decades.
Back then, my perception of rape was that of a man violently sexually assaulting a woman walking home alone late at night. From a stranger.
Never anyone you might know.
To that end, I never thought my attack would be believed.
Even though I ended up in the hospital, I never said a word. That was 35 years ago and where are we today?
In England and Wales, one in four women has been raped, according to the charity Rape Crisis.
Just one in 100 police-recorded rapes in 2021 resulted in an indictment in the same year.
Despite our increasing awareness and knowledge of the different types of sexual assault that are darkening more than just the corners of our society, we seem unable to do anything about it. Nothing ever seems to change.
Five out of six women who have been raped do not report it. The same is true for four out of five men.
Humiliation and embarrassment may be a factor, but worst of all, 38 percent of women don’t believe the police can help.
I’ve quoted attorney Dame Vera Baird many times and it’s getting quite tedious to do it again, but even though the number of registered rape offenses is at an all-time high in 2021, the number of rape cases has halved.
It’s not just the CPS’s high threshold for prosecution and the feeling so many women have of being made more vulnerable by a system bent on destroying their character and sexual past, but most poignantly it’s their first Point contact — the police.
We know there are good eggs. There are police officers who behave in an exemplary and professional manner, but what’s going on in their heads is what concerns women the most.
Met Police Chief Sir Mark Rowley may be allergic to the words “culture” and “institutional,” but it’s inevitable.
I’ve thought many, many times over the years what I would do if, God forbid, I was raped again.
I wrote in this column that I would like to think I would report it, no matter the circumstances.
But as I write for you today, I can’t say I would.
This is a damning indictment of a society that has allowed rape to be effectively decriminalized and has chosen to put it in the same category as fraud or a traffic accident.
And considering it’s 2023.
Dodge the hurley burly
I READ from time to time about Ant McPartlin’s custody battle with his ex-wife Lisa Armstrong over Hurley, their Chocolate Labrador.
While most married couples struggle to find an equitable settlement for their children, this may seem like a minor hassle.
But actually, for a dog lover like me, I’m wondering if it’s not really more complicated than that.
In reality, there is no “custody” when it comes to children.
Nowadays it’s more commonly known as “Residence” – perhaps because it sounds less antagonistic.
And typically, children live with the person best suited to care for them – this is often a logistical decision based on what causes the least disruption.
With older children you can of course ask about their preferences and take them into account.
But the adorable Hurley can’t talk. He can’t figure out if he prefers the treats at Lisa’s Gaff or the busy household of Ant and his wife with their kids and other dogs.
Hurley is being transported to the weekly handover by Ant’s chauffeur.
I think I would be torn if I had to let my pooches go and they only had part time.
Luckily there was no such argument with my ex because he has to go to the office every day.
I don’t know what it says about me that I’m okay with the kids sharing their time with us but not my dogs.
Still, it makes me very sad that Ant and Lisa are going through this.
Hurley undoubtedly embodied much of the joy that existed in their marriage.
But this four-legged friend also looks like a senior dog to me.
It would be nice if they could just keep the status quo so they can both share the joy of Hurley.
Alternatively, you can allow this old boy to settle down somewhere permanently, knowing that he is dearly loved by all.
No more sinking feeling
IN this new era of wholesomeness that we are all being forced to live in, in this world of clean eating, fasting, the gym, veganism and being eco-friendly, I have to say I took a bit of joy in the image of Watch BBC Breakfast presenters Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt, standing outside a pub, both enjoy a fag – and even sip a pint.
We’re constantly fed such a diet of attention-grabbing, warm-hearted celebs with their fabulous bodies or healthy lifestyles that this picture felt pretty nostalgic.
It was like a cheeky slap in the face to all those desperadoes out there fighting for a place on the tightrope of purity, righteousness, virtue and morality.
It was a rebellious two fingers against these smug, superior bastards who live more hygienic lives.
I’m not a proponent of smoking and drinking, but you can’t deny that it’s quite refreshing to see a few otherwise well-groomed presenters getting it pregnant and giving it big.
And at least there’s no impartiality controversy surrounding this little pub crawl.
It’s very clear that they both like a bit of nicotine and then some.
It’s half baked
stop the world i want to disappear Columbia University researchers and engineers have 3D printed a cheesecake.
I have deliberately ignored all the technology surrounding 3D printing – which is mainly used to make machine parts and models – because my tiny blond brain just can’t understand it.
But the mere notion that you could now potentially turn cartridges of food paste and powder into an actual dish appalls me.
As someone who spends most of my time cooking, reading, and creating recipes, and who loves real real food, this fills me with dread.
I don’t care if that becomes a thing.
There’s no way I’ll ever want a pud from a print shop.
But anyway, the rest of you, have your cake and print it out.
Live and let’s try Ass Daisy May
There are many rumors that my mate, the glorious and multi-talented Daisy May Cooper, could be cast as spy boss M in the next Bond.
I sincerely hope this comes true. Daisy is a great creative – character, comedy and serious actress. A brilliant author.
She is extremely talented and her dry sense of humor is just what Bond would need.
She would definitely bring her unique, fun style to the role.
But as with everything Daisy does, she never fails to surprise, so who knows what she might make of it?
She is definitely the best that Gloucestershire has produced.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7714365/ulrika-jonsson-raped-35-years-ago-police/ I was raped 35 years ago and didn’t report it and I wouldn’t do it today – our police force is worse than ever