As women-only carriages spread through public transport systems in Brazil, Thailand, India and Japan... it looks like the preventative, victim-blaming measure may be heading to the UK. According to transport minister Claire Perry MP, focusing energies on removing the victim from the situation rather than addressing the offender is the way to go when tackling sexual assault.
One of the few positive things to come out of the DLT case is that it should now be widely understood that to grab or seize someone in any physical way under the guise of humour or playfulness is completely unacceptable. And it should be understood that this behaviour is the first rung on the ladder of sexual assault.
In a practical sense, no single remedy can address this endemic issue. Instead a range of solutions, constituting a holistic approach, are required. Firstly, a truly independent inquiry should be commissioned - one which is not led by any of the institutions implicated in the case, and further not implemented by a high profile man or men.
Sex is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but the very reason sex is sought after and enjoyed by so many is because of the exhilaration of self validation that goes along with the knowledge that someone is attracted to you in the same way you are to them... consent is hot. To coerce, force yourself on someone, or drug them just so you can have your way with them is an awful thing for anybody to do.
Sexual assault, peer pressure and female objectification are far from humorous. Satire isn't satire when it's kicking down another group. It only creates a bad perspective for incoming students of student life and a bad image of current students, implying this is what everyone's freshers was like and therefore yours should be too.
As she said no over and over again, he just laughed and forced himself into her. She cried, but tears made no difference to him. She lost. After she was raped, she didn't tell anyone because she wasn't completely sure it was rape... Only years later did she realise that even girlfriends and wives can be raped, because if it takes force, it's not consensual.
This week, the evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins tweeted this to nearly one million followers: "Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think." Before that, he had tweeted: "X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of X, go away and don't come back until you've learned how to think logically."Interesting for me, because - there's no subtle way to say this - I know exactly what it's like to be raped with knives involved.
Here is a young woman in a popular holiday destination for those with a limited budget - I'm not going to assume that she's working class, but I'm certain the journalists will have done. She having fun, she's drinking, she's apparently being sexual on her own terms. Someone filmed it and the whole thing went viral - oops. Enter the tabloids with their guidebook to acceptable women's behaviour and pronounce her unclean, apparently we've found a "new low" ... It's not long before social media is calling her "actual vermin" and a "repulsive slag". I failed to find anyone (other than feminists) criticising the men in any way, the woman in question has had her name and photo all over the internet today; where are the men?
If Blackstone's Formulation is based on the principle that the state should not cause undue or mistaken harm then we need to seriously consider the harm to victims of rape and sexual assault who are subjected to an horrendous ordeal and then tragically failed by a system which allows them to be discredited and humiliated in the name of justice and all too often their courage in coming forward turns out to be in vain.
During my years in Bosnia, both during the war and afterwards I heard and saw evidence of horrific stories of mass rape and sexual violence committed during the war. Thousands of women and children suffered terrible abuse and the physical and mental scars could stay with survivors for the rest of their lives. Years later, sexual violence still remains entrenched in conflict zones around the world and children are often the most vulnerable. Children suffering in conflicts are growing up in a world where they face the daily threat of rape and abuse and sexual violence is considered the 'norm'.