As a bloke it is hard to imagine how incredibly frightening and utterly disgusting the idea of rape can be to a woman. (Yes, I know it happens to guys, but very, very rarely.) It is for this reason that most reasonable thinking people deplore rape and rapists.
It is often hard to prove rape; there are different types of it; rape by a random stranger, date rape and rape within a relationship, even marriage. Of course, normally it would take place in private, and so it may be a case of one person’s word against another. Women often fear reporting it because of the pain, humiliation, and the fact that they will have to relive and relive it if it goes to the police and to court. A rape can cause lasting damage to a victim.
Police all round the country have set up special units to deal with rape, and courts are encouraged to take it very seriously. The penalties are severe by UK standards, and the rapist may have a very hard time both in prison, and thereafter, finding himself in a situation where he is unemployable and an outcast among his family and friends.
This is why women who “cry wolf” over rapes should also be dealt with very seriously by the courts.
The case reported today in the Mail of Sarah-Jane Hilliard, 20, (pictured above) who seduced Grant Bowers (also 20 and pictured, right), and then reported their sexual encounter to the police as rape and tried to claim £7,500 from the Criminal Injuries Board is distasteful. Her story began to fall apart as it turned out that she had lied to the police. Amazingly she was given a 12 month suspended sentence for her crimes because she was “going through a difficult time, had lost her partner and some friends and had received nasty messages on Facebook from real rape victims since the incident”.
Grant, who was arrested and thrown into a police cell when Hilliard reported the imaginary “rape”, was furious at the sentence. In as much as a real rape can ruin a girl’s life, this has had a similar effect on him. He is terrified to speak to women. He is frightened to go out because there are people who believe he did it and who want revenge. Grant’s life may well be affected in the long term by this drunken girl's accusation.
Equally importantly, every time a woman makes this kind of accusation which turns out to be a tissue of lies she undermines the probability that the next girl’s story will be believed. Rape is too serious a crime for that to happen.
I hope Grant will be able to pick up his life and, in time forget that this ever happend or that he ever met Hilliard but I also hope that judges will stop feeling sorry for wicked drunken girls who try to make easy money with no thought to the consequences for others .