NEWS

Ched Evans Retrial: Crowdfunder For Accuser's New Life

'Our police and courts are still not a fair place for women to go if they have been raped.'

18/10/2016 16:21 | Updated 19 October 2016

More than £15,000 has been raised by well-wishers in support of the woman who accused Ched Evans of rape.

Evans was jailed in 2012 for the rape of the then-19-year-old, and was released two and a half years later, after serving half his sentence.

His conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April and the footballer was acquitted following a two week retrial at Cardiff Crown Court last week.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Footballer Ched Evans with partner Natasha Massey at Cardiff Crown Court 

Although the woman, as the alleged victim of a sex offence, has anonymity for life, she has had to change her name and move house five times after being identified on social media.

She continues to receive death threats from supporters of Evans.

Following revelations she plans to move to Australia to start afresh, a GoFundMe account has been set up for her.

Created by self-described radical feminist Jean Hatchet, the fund aims to hit £50,000 and to show the woman “there are others in the world who care what has happened to her and care what happens to her now.”

GoFundMe
The GoFundMe appeal hopes to raise £50,000, half of which it will donate to Rape Crisis England and Wales 

Writing on the page, Hatchet said: “We’d like to propose that we give half of any money raised to help women who are victims of sexual violence. We hope that Rape Crisis will accept this gesture too.

“We hope that this action is not criticised too much. We do this with the very best of intentions. We just want to show our love for all women who have been through the ordeal of a rape trial and those who were prevented from ever seeking justice because our police and courts are still not a fair place for women to go if they have been raped. This must change.”

Speaking to Huffington Post UK of the success of the crowdfunder, Hatchet added: “It’s not just an example of wanting to support this particular complainant, it’s an outpouring of support from women (and some men) to all complainants in similar cases. The way she was treated in court, regardless of the outcome, was callous and appalling.”

Sadly Hatchet, who is in contact with the CPS with regard to passing the funds to the woman, has become the recipient of threats and trolling herself since starting the venture.

“It’s misogyny. It’s a certain group of people who are unable to understand kindness towards women because they don’t have it themselves,” she said.  

Rape Crisis England and Wales has confirmed it will gratefully accept the donation. Last week the charity thanked the woman for her courage throughout the case and the previous trial.

It also highlighted concern about the abuse she has received, stating: “We ask those discussing this case both on and offline in the days and weeks to come to remember that there is never any excuse or justification for any rape complainant to suffer the kind of abuse and ordeal as she has endured.”

Evans admitted to having sex with the teenager in a hotel in Rhyl, north Wales, and cheating on his girlfriend in the process but insisted it had been consensual.

It took the retrial jury three hours to reach their not guilty verdict.

Evans denied the woman was too drunk to consent when she was having sex with him.

He had maintained his innocence - saying the woman had invited him to “join in” at 4am with her and a fellow footballer - Clayton McDonald, 27 - who was cleared of rape at the original trial.

It is a criminal offence under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act to identify the victim.

North Wales Police has said its investigation into those who named her on social media is ongoing.

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