Here’s a report from news.com.au about the legal system brutalising a woman for seven years because two men raped her. 

According to the headline, however, they didn’t rape her. They raped a party. Or maybe the rape was the party? Hard to know – and beside the point. 

The two rapists have been found guilty *twice*. They served 19 months in jail and after seven years all they have to do now is some community service and go back to the town that filled the courtroom with their supporters.

The woman they raped was forced to move interstate by her community’s furious defence of the men who raped her.

She also had to survive four trials, a successful appeal, and a sentencing hearing, to finally be told that the rapists have suffered enough and don’t deserve any further punishment. Then, because she hasn’t already had enough to deal with, she has to see this headline, erasing her from the story and calling the revolting crime committed against her a “party rape”.

I can’t imagine how much strength it must take for this woman to just keep breathing in an out, let alone try to rebuild her life as this tortuous process dragged on for seven years. 

Dame Vera Baird called this the “decriminalisation of rape“. It’s not only that almost none of the men who commit rape are are convicted. It’s also that the price rape victims pay for seeking justice is far greater than the price men pay for committing rape – on the rare occasions they pay any price at all. 

Women and feminists have been protesting about this for more than fifty years. Decades of parliamentary reports, inquiries, law reforms, and investigations have proven the legal system has no justice for people who are raped.  

Plus ça change   

Timeline of the trials*

April 2016: Two men raped a woman

April 2019: First trial – guilty verdict

September 2020: Conviction overturned on appeal

2022: Second trial – abandoned due to Covid

2022: Third trial – abandoned due to juror misconduct

August 2022: Fourth trial – guilty verdict

April 2023: Sentencing hearing – Two men sentenced to community service and time served for rape

*This is just the list of the trials, documented as much as I could via court reports. There would also have been many other hearings involved in this process. 

_

If you’re reading this on social media, links to all the articles are on the post on my website: JaneGilmore.com

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

Men’s Referral Service
Support for men who use violence and abuse.
7 days a week
Ph: 1300 766 491
https://ntv.org.au/get-help/

New book coming out in October!

Fairy Tale Princesses Will Kill Your Children

SIGN UP to receive updates about upcoming release and preorders.

I have an overflowing inbox too, so I promise I won't spam you. You'll only receive updates about books and related events.

Author