The Rape Debate: Who’s on Trial? – 8 November 2021 – Channel 4

Following the film Rape: Who’s on Trial?, politicians, police, prosecutors, campaigners and survivors debate the crisis in investigation and prosecution of serious sexual crime. 



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2 Responses

  1. Cherrie Soesan says:

    I was in tears watching! My case was 23+ yrs ago at the Old Bailey 1997! My ex-husband already a convicted “Rapist” before I met him! Beat me and raped me.. (A lot more to my case you wouldn’t believe!!) on more than 3 occasions..my case was the week leading up to Princess Diana’s death, the jury was out for 40mins came back with. Not guilty lack of evidence.(they wanted to get home to watch the News!!! .there was lots of evidence but was not presented..He has sine in 2004? been back to prison for ABH… please get in touch if you want my story… I was a singer when I met him..now I have been suffering depression anxiety low self esteem.. you name it I’ve got it!!!
    I want to take him back to court with the Double Joepary or a Civil Action but I can’t afford it? He ruined my life and my career!!!
    Thank you for reading this.. xx

  2. Janet Ingman says:

    I have a number of things I observe about life for women and men today. I have worked for the police and come across challenging situations myself (age 48). I have a number of possible suggestions to assist as I will come to.

    I have an 8 year old son but remain a single parent, something which in itself is dramatically different to when I went to school in the 70’s and the majority of children had parents. Often a mum didn’t work. This was not just the choice of men but many women and they were allowed that choice. They were expected to get married but most couples could gain a deposit for a house as my parents did at £13,000 to expand with children and assist a pension when older.

    A lot in my generation changed but feels very under discussed. Law is also very under discussed. It is a topic which matters to us all but is considered something to learn outside of school for a select few. What is just in consent, belief of consent and why should you have to prove what happened when you know it did? Those who work in law understand but it’s shocking how under-educated many are as to why reasonable doubt exists.

    I will always teach my son what the law means in reality. He may truly believe what he is sure to be true but a girl may not see it as him. Lack of consent is easy if he purposely intends to rape a girl but even if he doesn’t it is not straight forward
    – is she is below age 16?
    – does he have to use force to get what he wants ?
    – does he threaten her in any way?
    – Is she is drunk, drugged or vulnerable to doing something she is incapable of wanting to. In most cases a man has a power of strength that a woman can’t or may be scared to fight. It should never be taken for-granted that the truth to her is what it is to you.

    The truth may be different to you both even if rape was not intended. One must never assume. Girls too must know that when telling their truth the police must be sure not that she believes it rape but that for reasons of law he purposely intended rape. They cannot turn on police for looking after his rights too.

    I viewed myself as a young clever girl and held the notion in my head that because of this I would know from gut instinct if a man was’bad’. Then if I was put at risk I would be like a girl on TV and know to grab something to hand or how to stop him.

    It doesn’t happen like this, if only life were that simple! He was good looking, I was out with friends and entirely sober. I don’t like alcohol and learned to have fun with mates pretending to be drinking like them. Once I did get a lad spike my drink but because I was used to not drinking I knew immediately and called a friend who helped.

    This time was different, he was a proper gentleman and I felt in charge. I let him walk me home but explained it was goodbye at the door. If a friend had told me she was doing this with a stranger I would advise against it but I saw myself as sober, having fun and clever so it was just fun? I then invited him in for a coffee.

    It’s very difficult to behave in a way which you’re a misery guts if you don’t but a ‘slag’ if you do! Society can work against you cruelly. Just the same as in online relationships when you feel in charge and a man sends you a picture of him naked and makes you feel obligated to return the favour!

    Men should discuss this double standard much more with friends because it’s very unfair. How many times have I read dating advice that tells a girl not to be needy but strong and willing to make him work to get you into bed by tempting him and understanding his needs before your own?

    Like so many girls before me I realised when the situation happened I wasn’t like a girl in a film. He didn’t need to hear me say “no” and didn’t care because he could hold me easily. I wasn’t Wonder Woman and was too scared to be. It was easier to close my eyes and get it over. The choice wasn’t mine.

    He went and when all was over I just wanted to sleep and pretend it hadn’t happened. It felt surreal and I couldn’t process it the day after because it wasn’t him I hated so much as myself. As I couldn’t bring myself to go straight to the police I thought my own story sounded ridiculous and argued more for “could he have not realised?” I was my own worst enemy and told nobody.

    I thought it was over but he knew where I lived and he came back a couple of weeks later. Right in the middle of the day making an exhibition of himself in the street saying he could see me so to let him in or he’d keep making a noise. The lad in the flat underneath got fed up and banged on my door telling me to shut him up.

    In retrospect I should have told him why I wouldn’t but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wasn’t ready to tell anybody and felt bad for having allowed it to happen. I went down to tell him to go away. When I got to the door he pushed me aside and came running up to my flat.

    I think what he really enjoyed was the fear on my face and he didn’t want to touch me again he got what he wanted from my reactions to him. This made it even more difficult to go to the police because how could I tell them I hadn’t said I’d been raped but now was letting him in?

    He kept visiting and began speaking as if I was a friend he had known for ages. I just became sure I had to look after myself and I planned on moving so that he would no longer know where to find me.

    As it turned out before I moved my friend called about “the lad I had met in the bar” his face was on the paper. Apparently he had been a suspect in the Madeline Macanese case. I knew his name was Jose Marques and he was from Portugal but I knew nothing of this. However now what I knew was he had been convicted of rape there and come to Britain and had been accused by a 16 year old and now convicted by 2 other girls.

    I was shocked but not! I felt relieved that I wasn’t going mad it wasn’t all in my head other girls thought just as I did but had obviously been a lot braver. This is the first biggest help in getting a rapist convicted. They don’t do it once. As stupid as girls feel they should put their stories on record. When police can see numerous accounts with the same name, details the reasonable doubt come into question themselves. Why would a few independent girls say the same thing?

    My other solution would be talking more with men about it being okay to discuss with friends what they see as acceptable and not and perhaps even if a friend tells them some stuff which they feels crosses the line reporting him.

    I have had a number of what I see as unacceptable offers on a dating site. We live in a culture where men think it’s okay to ask for intrusive pictures because they choose to give them but I always say no thinking about what could go wrong. Girls shouldn’t feel ugly or not confident for saying no.

    I have also been told I’m privileged to get requests to accept stayovers in hotels with a guy that has a girlfriend but wants some fun! I just say no because I wouldn’t do that to another girl or myself! The more I say no the more I think he wants me to! Lads should keep being told that the times of James Bond being an icon are gone!

    A line that comes up in too many bad relationships is “why don’t you trust me?” It’s usually right before he calls her needy and says he’s the victim and she has a problem! It’s good that girls are talking and making each other aware of when a line has been crossed and helping each other. Men too need to be helping each other. The more talking the better.

    The one last solution is a number of things. We have more cameras now than ever. Not just in big cities but above parks, on streets, houses, vehicles and even a policeman got caught as he should for something horrific because he forgot how many cameras are watching. As a last resort and deterrent people needed to be reminded how much of what they do is being watched.

    This takes away reasonable doubt. It can break down the case of a girl if she looks too drunk to know what happened (women do have to take responsibility for doing things they wished they hadn’t when drunk). It can also show up who bought the drinks and perhaps show if he spiked a drink or used medical equipment.

    Women continually mention not feeling safe but we do have ways to make them feel safer. A mobile is one. On it is a locator, a FaceTimer if worried, safety apps and I would suggest the ability to create a way to attach a phone to clothing as it records. If there were a site only police could access a someone could video surroundings then it is both a deterrent to a person they are with (knowing they are filmed at that time and can be found on video by police) To someone wishing no harm it’s no problem he/she wants you feeling safe. It’s not an invasion of privacy if it can only be accessed by police. It’s obvious that we don’t have enough police to be one to one but if stored it can be accessed if a story needs more light thrown on any reasonable doubt.

    I saw the look of the women at the attorney who defended men but law is about both men and women having rights and determination of truth. All men aren’t bad. A story mustn’t be in doubt. It is worrying a time of two years could go by without it going to court because it must be remembered in detail and if those details do get cloudy then a problem exists.

    We could all do with more knowledge on law, talking about the issues we face as a society and how we can improve them. Having people to talk to for mental health because they seem to only be there for the most extreme cases and not for catching people at a low time before it escalates. Debates are a good place to start but statistics show that action is what is vital to change a big problem.

    Yours sincerely,
    Janet Ingman

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