Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

A Vindication of the Rights of Rapists?

A Vindication of the Rights of Child Rapists?

“Promising Athlete Spared Jail for Oral Rape of a Child…” another day in the land of every day victim blaming. This poor athlete, who is worthy of our sympathy, narrowly out on a missing a jail cell.

While the entire facts are not available, piecing them together, from those that are what we have is a young man; Adam Hulin, then aged 18, involved in athletics, who met and who had oral sex, sexual relations (where did we last hear that phrase) and penetrative sex with another party. The other party being a 12 year old child thus, let’s be clear about this, making what he did rape and sexual assault.

He was charged with:

- oral rape;
- assault by penetration;
- vaginal rape.

He pled guilty to oral rape and assault by penetration, the third charge of rape was not heard but ordered to remain on file.

What was the sentence for raping and sexually assaulting a child:

- twelve month community order (100 hours)
- to sign the sex offenders register for five years.
- £60 victim surcharge.

That’s about it, his punishment for raping a child. But it doesn’t end there, the victim blaming continues after the sentencing finishes:
You may remember the Steubenville rape case - stateside also involving “promising athletes” who raped a barely conscious/unconscious teen and filmed it. The reporting focussed predominantly on how their lives were ruined, presumably by the victim, in much the same the manner of the reporting of the plight of our own promising athlete. An extract from Your Local Guardian reporting on this case says:

“At today’s hearing, Recorder George Lawson-Rogers QC did not send the A Level student to prison, although a custodial term is within the sentencing guidelines for these offences.

Instead, Hulin, a talented middle-distance runner with the Aldershot, Farnham and District club team, was given a community order for 12 months, with the requirement that he undertake 100 hours of unpaid work and attend six sessions focusing on 'community integration'…

Hulin, who appeared in court clean shaven and wearing a grey suit, white shirt and blue and white checked tie, looked relieved in the dock when the sentence was delivered.”

I get it, this young man scrubs up well and he knows how to study. That’s the press take on him. What about the judge surely he’ll be less impressed.
In sentencing Hulin judge Mr Lawson-Rogers QC is reported as saying:

"The defendant is 19 and there is much to be said in his favour. I have heard about his background…

He has clear prospects for the future and is pursuing these at this time…
I consider this the appropriate disposal…

…I certainly wouldn’t want to do anything which would prejudice his future career."

Well done Mr Lawson-Rogers for setting the wrong tone and sending the wrong message to rapists because witness what, the vindicated rapist, AHulin (the accused) then says of about his actions after his conviction - published in the local paper comments section

“…did not use any form of force
She fully consented and lied about her age
Don't make judgements without looking into it
Probation service and the judge seemed a zero threat to the public and zero chance of reoffending”

However another commentator who was equally as unimpressed as most right minded people would be had this stinging response for him:

“If you can't tell the difference between a 12 year old and a 16 year old then you should not be allowed out without an escort. She did not fully consent, because a 12 year old cannot fully consent. He doesn't have zero chance of reoffending as he is very clearly not sorry that he raped the girl and he is still blaming his victim (on his website), like most rapists. He has not accepted any responsibility at all for his actions so that doesn't sound like a man who is sorry for what he did and poses no more threat to the public, that sounds like a man who is dangerous to young girls because he has been brought up to believe that the onus is on girls not to be raped by men like him, rather than the onus being on him not to rape them.”

Bravo, that’s more like it, tell it like it is. Why wasn't this said in court?

Apart from the commentator above, what is missing is any regard for the effect of his actions on his victim either by the rapist, the judge or by the news reporting. In fact it would be fair to say the victim appears to be worthy of blame as having brought all this on herself. Her crime appears to be looking older than 12 (I summon Mother Nature to the dock) it isn’t a crime to look older than you actually are, hard though it is to believe from these reports, but it can be used as a defence (that’s the real scandal) and having a Facebook Account. Further lengthy and offensive comments about the victim were made by AHulin “crying wolf” being an example. They were thankfully removed by the paper but underscore the rights of the vindicated rapist to see and to portray himself as the victim. That’s why this is all wrong and topsy turvy.

Before I finish though I want to refocus this commentary on the wronged party in this matter, the victim, a 12 year old child and to give you a snapshot of the effect of victim blaming on victims and their families.
Her mother has spoken out and her comments provide a harrowing snapshot of the effect of rape and her treatment at the hands of the justice system and the press on her daughter.

I would urge you to read her comments here:

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/topstories/11172979.Mum_condemns_athlete_s_attempts_to_justify_sex_attack_on_her_daughter__12/?ref=mac

She speaks of finding out about the sentence only via Facebook and continues to explain how her daughter's life has been ruined by what happened, about how she feels the perpetrator is continuing to justify his actions. She speaks of her disgust that the judge didn’t take into account the victim’s side of events and her loss of faith in the legal system. She believes the way the judge has looked at this is was as though ‘boys will be boys’.
She concludes "My daughter is not getting on with her life. It’s absolutely appalling. We have to pick up the pieces…”

And that’s the problem with this case, the voice of the victim is lost drowned out in the haste to blame her for what was done to her. Flimsy excuses made for the rape, for sexual offences and every consideration extended to the rapist who must not suffer or be condemned for what he did because it’s not really his fault, rape is vindicated by victim blaming.

It only remains for me to say to the victim I believe you. #Ibelieveher

Sources
UK Criminal Law Blog http://ukcriminallawblog.com/
Your Local Guardian www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk

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3 thoughts on “A Vindication of the Rights of Rapists?

  • Redskies says:

    This. This case and the convicted rapist’s response to his own crime is why what you all do at EV&B is so important.

    Sometimes I look at how we pick up on some of the subtler victim-blaming and rape culture and think “Are we being to nit-picky?” Then you see the end result of rape apology and victim blaming, and its impact on real lives and understand how important it is to tackle it at every level.

    My thoughts are with this rapist’s victim. #Ibelieveher

  • Gill Ward says:

    Thank you for writing such a poignant, well controlled and informed, thoughtful piece given the injustice of this case. Words escape me; anger fuels me. Time and time and time again the victim’s voice is lost, crushed, ignored, ripped to pieces, not believed, becomes irrelevant. It’s so completely and utterly wrong that the victim is blamed, again the rapist is not held responsible for his actions, which HE HAS CONTROL OVER. ‘Boys will be boys’ and the old boys judge network (urgh), promising future of a scrubbed up, well dressed athlete; oh my goodness, so backwards, nonsensical, typical and criminal. It should be, but sadly once again, hasn’t been the care and nurturing and listening and understanding etc of what the 12 year old girl who was raped sadly had to endure. I believe her. #believeher

  • Gill Ward says:

    Letter sent via email. Thank you for writing it. If somebody didn’t do something like the piece and letter you’ve written so eloquently and informed, treatment of victims will just get worse. Thanks and keep up the sterling work.