Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Ms – a personal experience of victim blaming an 11 year old girl by defence QC

We were contacted by witness protection and the CPS to let us know that the abuser was appealing in the royal courts of justice against his conviction and sentence, we were told that at the leave to appeal hearing his legal team would have the opportunity to present new evidence or evidence where incorrect procedure could be raised if it would support that the conviction and or sentence was unsafe or unjust in any way. The Lord Justices dealt with the conviction first and ruled that it was safe and leave to appeal was denied, they then moved on to the length of the sentence. The abusers QC then proceeded to launch the most astonishing attack on the victim, making allegations against the victim for example saying she was not young and innocent (she was only eleven when the abuse started). We were quite unprepared for this unprecedented attack on the victim's character and we were not allowed to defend or comment at the time on the onslaught in anyway. The abusers QC's comments were then published in the press and we had to take the victim out of the country for fear she would make another attempt to end her life such was her misery and despair. The incident was reported to the bar standards agency, it has taken 18 months so far and likely to be 2 and a half years since the incident until the QC is likely to appear before a 3 person disciplinary hearing - even then they could well dismiss without advice.

I think 2 and a half years wait to get any type of reprimand is wrong and the Bar Standards agency needs to review its procedures


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