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Emily Hunt has launched a campaign to crowdfund a rape prosecution – the first of its kind in the UK.
She claims she was drugged and raped at a hotel in May 2015, but after an investigation the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”.
Now Ms Hunt, who has waived her anonymity, is now looking to raise £100,000 to pursue the case and then fund a second private prosecution for another victim.
Writing for Sky News, she recalls her memories of the alleged rape and the obstacles she has faced.
I was curled on my left side, cold and naked, covered up but shivering. What I remember most – probably because it’s what I remember first – was the feeling of the bedspread against my bare skin.
Insubstantial, both rough and soft at the same time, like raw silk. I was confused by its texture. It clearly wasn’t mine.
As my eyes blinked open I had no idea where I was. Worse, I had no idea who the man was that I saw at a glance, as I peered over my shoulder.
He was fully clothed, languidly leaning against the headboard, watching TV. I had never seen him before. Something was very wrong.
It occurred to me suddenly that I’d been drugged. I knew it completely in that moment. I didn’t find out until two days later – when the police finally got around to telling me – that I had been raped.
The police had me, my rapist and the hotel room immediately, and yet my case fell through every crack there was.
As a result, since that day in May 2015, I’ve learned a lot about the criminal justice system in the UK.
I’ve learned a lot about how and why rapists get away with it. I’ve learned a lot about how the system lets down victims over and over again.
But I’ve also learned to stand up, both for myself and other victims.
According to Rape Crisis England, around 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales every year.
In the UK, under 15% of rapes are reported. And for those few reported rapes, the CPS gets a conviction 6 to 7% of the time.
This is despite the fact that the CPS has itself proven that women very infrequently lie about rape. Ninety to 98% of the time, if a woman says she’s been raped, she has been. In the UK, it’s actually closer to 98%.
So, most rapists don’t go to jail, clearly.
But it gets worse. It turns out that in an academic study – admittedly in the States but I expect the findings transfer across the Atlantic – the majority of uncaught rapists will rape again in their lives. On average that rapist will commit 5.8 rapes over the course of his life.
When the CPS wrote to me and said that there wasn’t a public interest in pursuing my rapist, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s not just justice for me that I need. I need justice for his statistically likely other victims. The ones he’s already raped and the ones he will rape in the future.
Luckily, here in the UK, we have the ability to do the job of the prosecutor.
A private person can hire a barrister and bring a criminal case in court. It has the same bearing as if the CPS did it. It can result in jail time. Just as it should.
But barristers are expensive – so I am launching a charity to crowdfund the private prosecution of the man who raped me and to help other victims who have been let down by a system that doesn’t see rape as a prosecutable offence.
The thing about crowdfunding is the crowd. And in this case I have genuinely had a lot of faith in humanity restored in the way that people have reached out to offer support, donations and advice.
Suddenly, I am seeing my inbox full with names of men and women from all over the UK, chipping in £5, £10, £20, even a few £100 donations.
This will help me have justice whilst simultaneously being able to support others who are unable to afford something as simple as a toxicology test.
It’s taken me a long time to get strong enough to do this. And there’s a lot more left to be done. But I refuse to give up.
And at this point I don’t think the crowd would let me. They’ve got my back.
Ms Hunt’s crowdfunding page can be found at gofundme.com/prosecuterape.
To view the original of this article CLICK HERE.
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