During the sentencing of rapist Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, retiring British judge Lindsey Kushner QC offers common sense advise to women:
“We judges who see one sexual offence trial after another, have often been criticised for suggesting and putting more emphasis on what girls should and shouldn’t do than on the act and the blame to be apportioned to rapists.
“There is absolutely no excuse and a woman can do with her body what she wants and a man will have to adjust his behaviour accordingly.
“As a woman judge I think it would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention one or two things. I don’t think it’s wrong for a judge to beg women to take actions to protect themselves. That must not put responsibility on them rather than the perpetrator. How I see it is burglars are out there and nobody says burglars are OK but we do say ‘please don’t leave your back door open at night, take steps to protect yourselves’.
“Girls are perfectly entitled to drink themselves into the ground but should be aware people who are potential defendants to rape, gravitate towards girls who have been drinking. It should not be like that but it does happen and we see it time and time again. They do it because, first, a girl who is drunk is more likely to agree as they are more disinhibited even if they don’t agree they are less likely to fight a man with evil intentions off.
“Even if they manage to have their way with a girl or woman with out her consent the likelihood is she will be less likely to report it because she was drunk or cannot remember what happened or feels ashamed to deal with it or, if push comes to shove a girl who has been drunk is less likely to be believed than one who is sober at the time. I beg girls and woman to have this in mind.
“They are entitled to do what they like but please be aware there are men out there who gravitate towards a woman who might be more vulnerable than others. That’s my final line, in my final criminal trial, and my final sentence.”
The campaign group End Violence Against Women condemned the comments. “When judges basically blame victims for rape – by suggesting how much alcohol a woman drinks or what she wears is part of what causes rape – we remove the responsibility from the man who did it. That is really alarming.”
Anyone, male or female, who gets dunk in public is asking for trouble.