I must be fair and start this (for those few who actually read what I write, if there is anyone)… by saying that this does involve a bit of discussion about rape.
Yesterday I was at a wake for a family friend with my parents. And as is usual at these things, we saw some people that we haven’t seen for a while and decided to catch up a bit. As the conversation meandered from topic to topic, we started talking about a friend of a friend who was in jail.
This man is in jail for murder. But the man who was telling us about this said he didn’t do it. (Insert slightly sarcastic comment from my Mum here). Then he tells us why. And it was this that I found interesting…
Apparently this man had a female relative who was raped. And as soon as we were told this the three of us (my mum, dad and I) literally went aaaaahh… somehow that very fact made something previously completely heinous a little more understandable.
What really bothered me in hindsight though was the fact that there was an immediate assumption that a young woman was raped and one of two things had happened. 1. She was too afraid / uncomfortable whichever to report it. Or 2. She reported it and the man wasn’t convicted. Basically… there was an assumption that he probably wasn’t punished for his crimes (until said friend of a friend apparently got involved, but that’s really not what I’m talking about here).
In light of everything in the media at the moment it’s such a difficult and horrible subject to discuss. But it’s one we should talk about. Especially when as soon as you hear of a rape victim you say ah… now I understand why a man is supposedly in jail for the rest of his life.
As I said, I don’t actually k ow the particulars, it could be that this man doesn’t even exist, but the response of my family and I to hearing that a young girl was raped has definitely left me feeling incredibly uncomfortable. Definitely something we as a society desperately need to improve on.