I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ched Evans case the past few days to try to work out how to put into words the churning feeling in my stomach I got when I read that the woman involved “was questioned at length about whom she had had sex with, the positions she favoured and the language she used during sex.”
I don’t know if he was guilty, so this isn’t about that. But the relevance of that woman’s personal sexual history is fully irrelevant. She could have slept with every other man in the country on a live webcam broadcast on a big screen in Leicester Square saying all the words under the sun, and that has absolutely nothing to do with whether she consented that night.
Just because you like sex and have had sex with other people and will have sex with other people again, doesn’t mean that you always want it. It doesn’t mean that being too drunk to stand or to know what was going on can be discounted in this case any more than it could be discounted in the case of someone who’s never slept with anyone.
I have no doubt that this will put others off from coming forward if they’ve been in similar situations – as if it isn’t bad enough to have gone through something like that, you have to be put through complete humiliation in front of your friends, family, alleged attacker and all of their friends and family, to prove that you were, in fact, a victim of a violent crime? Horrendous. I can’t imagine trying to get over having that happen to you, let alone having the agony prolonged.
Perhaps this video needs to start going round again as a handy reminder to everyone who isn’t quite sure if “no” or “silence” or “*completely trashed incoherent babble*” means “yes” or “no” or “wait until someone has sobered up a bit and ask again”. https://vimeo.com/126553913