Two years ago today I gave evidence for the first time at the first trial. I was terrified. Felt sick, but woke ready to do this after all those years of waiting. What happened on that day was unforgivable. The prosecution were amazing. Kind, sensitive. But his defence barrister sunk to a new all time low (see https://warriorwoman.blog/2019/05/08/giving-evidence/). I knew she would throw some of the allegations; I was lying, I was mad, it was false memory syndrome, I was lying to get compensation. None of these things are ok but they were predictable. What wasn’t predictable was that she used the fact I had been abused by other people to her advantage. To HIS advantage. It completely broke me. I left the court sobbing. Not only is this cruel and unethical it does not benefit the justice system. How can I give the best evidence that I can (if the true is what we are there to seek) when such vile allegations are being thrown?
This week I spoke on the news as “Lara” about my experiences. It was in relation to another case. Another horrific case (and comes with a trigger warning here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-53243586/the-trial-was-worse-than-the-rape). “Joanne” didn’t get justice. It’s horrific. Just how much evidence do you need? She had so much. We had so much. I feel “lucky” to have had a second chance. “Lucky” yo get a conviction. But it shouldn’t come down to luck. Juries are so worried about getting it wrong, and I’m worry about this, like a self fulfilling prophecy of massive proportions they get it wrong in sexual violence cases most of the time. There is this huge outcry of all the false allegations (which are so very rare) and the bigger miscarriage of justice is that rapists and paedophiles are getting away with it time after time. They are committing the most heinous crimes and get to walk away, whilst we are left to pick up the pieces.
If you have read the whole blog you will know what happened next. The excruciating wait. The complete failure by the first jury to see what was right under there noses. The 6 month wait so that 3 of us could go through it all again. But we were “lucky”. Not everyone gets a second shot. We were “lucky” because he was eventually convicted. This is not justice. It’s a lottery. And it serves nobody. It allows the guilty to walk free and it leaves us as a society less safe. Something needs to change. We deserve better