For many of us, rape often remains invisible. It is not acknowledged, discussed or even prosecuted. Yet for survivors, it is a traumatic, life-changing event. Whether the assailant is unknown or even if he is a partner, survivors need support. Being in a relationship does not mean that sexual rights are void.
If someone committed a crime against you should they be let off if it had happened a long time ago? Or would you still want to see justice done, no matter how much time had passed? Well today there has been a lot of debate about comments by a leading lawyer who described the investigation of historical sexual offences under Operation Yewtree as the 'witch-hunting of ageing celebs'.
We're concerned at the NSPCC that easy access to hardcore pornography is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable sexual behaviour. Adults have a choice about what to watch within the law, but my concern is that the internet is exposing ever younger eyes to things they are just not yet ready to process. They are learning about sex from porn and not from proper respectful relationships. Much of the material is violent and simply vile; it paints a picture of sex as one sided that has no basis in love or respect.
We do not minimise the reporting of other crimes the way we do sexual violence, we do not describe an argument that ends in violence as 'inappropriate debating techniques' nor do we describe theft as 'inappropriate acquisition of objects'... so why why should it be okay to describe sexual assaults and harassment of women this way?
A small crowd gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in icy Mayfair last night. Arabic chanting was interspersed with English - "We are not afraid, we will not be silent. Egyptian women, we are with you! We won't give up! We won't give in!" Banners bared images of women who were sexually assaulted while participating in mass protests
If this 48 year old renowned and successful violinist supposedly found cross-examination too much - how are younger children supposed to cope? If perpetrators are to be prevented from getting away with such crimes for such extended periods, we need a legal system that offers children a fair chance in court.