This is pretty terrible.
“She has admitted that she is prepared to let her attacker go free because she fears going through the same ordeal in the witness box.
She said: “It was horrific to see what this poor woman was put through and, as a result, I’ll never report the man who raped me.
“I was attacked six weeks after that case and it’s because I saw that woman being ripped apart on the stand that I’ll never come forward.
“I couldn’t endure what that woman went through in court. I couldn’t face all the questions she was asked and the judgment that was placed on her.”
But, whether we are talking about children or adult sexual assault victims, and want to wonder why they don’t come forward sooner, or at all.
Here’s one reason.
Of course, the question is, can we come up with a better way for someone accused to be able to defend themselves, but not be allowed to simply put the accuser on trial for every single thing they may or may not have done in their lifetime? I believe we can. I believe the tools are already there in the form of a judge refusing to allow what are really irrelevant questions, and a jury that actually understands that facts like what someone was wearing, whether they had been drinking, whether they’ve ever lied before, or the family situation of a child accuser, are irrelevant too.
We are, sadly, still a long way from that. We shouldn’t be. I don’t believe this is a justice “system” problem, as I said, there are generally rules in place in the UK, US and other countries to prevent this, but it is a problem with the people who are in the system, and that is much harder to solve for.