Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Rape is a serious crime, one of the most serious. But, as lifestyles change so do attitudes and a recent poll of 1000 men and women found that over 50% believed that some of the blame in a case of rape should rest with the woman if she had not taken reasonable steps to avoid the situation which led to the assault.... this involved not going home for a drink with or sleeping in the same bed as a person whom they had just met. Strangely, I thought, the harshest critics of women were women (although this may be explained by men being afraid to admit that they would blame the woman).

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 .


  1. This type of accusation is despicable. Why didn't the police check out the facts before they arrested the man? It wouldn't have taken long to find CCTV footage surely.

    Women have shouted rape many times and for different reasons. There will always be those who do so falsely and cause such distress to the male concerned.

    The police have questions to answer in this case.

  2. Has that woman got no shoes on in that picture?

  3. Yes Subrosa. It is every bit as bad as rape itself. The horrific thought that you are going to be imprisoned for what you thought was consensual sex must be horrific.

    I think people of both sexes should be better educated about the differences between them. It seems to me as a guy utterly obvious that if a girl doesn’t want to have sex with a bloke that she shouldn’t go home with him and get into the same bed as him. Call me old fashioned (or just a bloke perhaps).

    But some girls, it would appear are completely unaware that guys will see this as an invitation, or at least a temptation too great to avoid.

    Guys should, by the same token, be made very aware that in this world of sexual equality, even if a girl gets into bed with him, he should not take it for granted that sex is on the agenda.

    Of course none of this is relevant in this case. As you say, the police might want to have checked out the story before slamming the lad in a cell.

  4. How observant Munguin. I didn't notice.

  5. Nothing surprises me with the court system now. The case breaking up in Aberdeen could be massive. Everyone is getting accused of rape or cover ups. The police, politicians, sheriffs, nurses, social workers, relatives. Could be massive. More at Old Holborns blog.

  6. Rape comes in all shapes and sizes, from the most prevelent example of men assaulting women to child rape.

    If we as a society are failing to alter social attitudes, as your rather precise blog here would seem to suggest then more must be done.

    Tougher prison sentencing for rapists, firmer preventative action when possible, for example in cases of child abuse, a stronger social services which isnt obsessed with 'keeping families together'...no- much more needs to be done.

  7. I'll have a look Anon. Thanks for the heads up.

    I tend to be wary of criticising judges or sheriffs as a rule, on the basis that I haven't heard all the evidence and they have.

    I understand that the female has had a difficult time since, losing her partner and her friends, but come on, what did she expect.... her partner might reasonably have been expected to be a wee bit pissed at her seeing as she was having sex in a toilet with someone else, and her mates might draw the line at being friends with a woman who does this kind of thing. Awwww, poor little her. She should have thought of that before she went for the lad. So I don't understand the leniency. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there's something I don't know.

  8. Dean. One of the things we could do is educate girls about what boys are like, and boys about what girls are like.

    That's simplistic I know. But it seems that some girls think that they can go home with a bloke and get into bed with him, while both of them are drunk, and be surprised when the bloke expects to have sex... They need to understand how the average guy's mind works.

    By the same token, if guys knew that women could quite easily do that without the intention to have sex, then maybe they (the boys) would understand a little better when a girl said no.

    But yes. At the end of the day we have to come down like a tonne of bricks on rapists, and, as in this case, on women who use rape as a money making scheme.