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Show your support for Ched Evans’ rape victim on Mumsnet

3 comments

Alison Clarke
WVoN co-editor 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the UK, you will have read about the vile exploits of footballer Ched Evans and his five-year conviction for rape earlier this month.

For those who live elsewhere, this is a truly disturbing story about a young man who ended up in an hotel room with an extremely drunk woman, had sex with her in front of his friends (one man even tried to film the incident on his mobile phone) and left through a fire escape after raping her.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, a few hours after the court conviction a frenzied pantomime of hatred emerged on twitter, under the hashtag #justiceforChed.

It now appears that his supporters have set up a Facebook campaign calling for a retrial because:

… Apart from the obvious that he is innocent, it is just not right. This case had so many holes in it and a massive amount of doubt that how any jury can come to the verdict they did is beyond us. Keep the support coming as its the only thing keeping him going and slowly restoring his faith in society.

As a result, someone else has posted onto the online site, Mumsnet, to give the victim their support as part of their campaign to “believe” rape survivors:

Dear Mumsnet

As you are no doubt aware, there has been the most extraordinary hate campaign waged this week by some football fans, against a rape victim in the wake of the Ched Evans Guilty Verdict.

The jist of the hatespeak, has been that a drunk woman has no right to expect the basic human right of not having her body penetrated without her active participation in that sexual act, or even her passive consent. Presumably because men (or at least footballers and their friends) have the right to penetrate women who are incapable of consent. And that if a man rapes you, it is because you are a slut, a slag and all the other hate-speak words used to de-humanise women and make it easier for people not to empathise with us when we are abused.

This week has seen the really ugly spectacle, of a bunch of men asserting their right to rape women, handmaidens supporting that right and both of them sending out a clear warning to all other rape victims, to know what to expect if they dare to pursue justice if they are raped.

If there had been a similar outpouring of hatred against any other historically oppressed group, the rest of the media would have been tearing their hair out analysing why some men hated this group so much, where the hatred came from, why it existed, what could be done about it; but ironically apart from the Daily Fail, there has been very little comment in response to the Twitter hate-campaign. If Twitter had buzzed with indignation at the jailing of the man who posted hate-speak about Fabrice Muamba, I’ve no doubt that the FA would have tracked down the posters and banned them from football matches. Because they’re busy kicking racism out of football. Sexism, though, is fine. They can give a bloody award to a convicted rapist, while their supporters conduct what must be a terrifying hate campaign against his teenage victim– right now, football fans don’t look all that much better than the Taliban, do they?

Mumsnet, will you use the voice you have against this horrible hate campaign? Will you tell the woman that Ched Evans raped, that We Believe Her? Will you ask the FA to state publicly, that they too, believe her and that in future, they will work as hard to kick sexism out of football, as they do to kick racism out?

Thank You.

Mumsnet founder, Justine Roberts, told the Telegraph newspaper that:

“The case has grabbed people’s attention mostly because of the reaction on Twitter afterwards, where the victim was named and there were questions over whether Evans should have been convicted.

“Mumsnet members have wanted to show support to her and express their feeling that naming her was outrageous. They want to let her know that what he did was wrong and that they stand behind her.

“We are really hopeful the We Believe You campaign will be taken seriously as an issue.”

Hundreds of people have already posted onto a dedicated thread, often using the simple words: “We believe her”.

I believe her too.

Please show your support by adding your belief to the thread.

  1. A simiklar incident happened in Australia a number of years ago. Unfortunately no charges were laid.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-05-07/matthew-johns-in-group-sex-scandal/1675926

    Long story short a young (YES DRUNK SO WHAT?) woman met a well known rugby league player and agreed to go to his hotel room for consensual sex. The sportsman invited several team members to join them, without her knowledge and consent. The only one she knew by name was Matthew Johns. She was pressured, by a large number of very big, intimidating men, to take part in all sorts of sexual acts.

    When I found out John’s was retiring from rugby and was going to have his own tv program, I wept for the woman that would have to see one of her degraders on television every week. I still ask myself “If it were a 19 year old man that had gone through this, would half the Sharks team be in jail now?”

  2. vicki wharton says:

    It’s not a case of believing her, its whether we live in a society that is against rape anymore. I don’t believe we do. Lads mags and the male media are using skewed reporting on rape to intimidate women into not reporting this sexist intimidatory behaviour. Girls and women have seen the absolutely public abuse this latest victim has been subjected to and know that this is not a safe environment to report rape in. The rapists and their supporters are in charge of the asylum.

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