On Monday night, we learned through an exceptionally produced episode of Four Corners that in Australia a woman can be raped by a man who is not a rapist.
Saxon Mullins was barely 18 years old when she visited Sydney’s Kings Cross with her best friend, Brittany Watts.
A self-described “late bloomer”, Mullins had grown up on the Central Coast, experiencing her first kiss only a year prior.
She was a virgin – a detail that should not matter – but ultimately does when we consider that there exists a socially determined image of the ‘perfect’ rape victim, and Mullins was it.
The ABC described her as a “bright but a mostly unsophisticated teenager.” It was 2013, she had only been clubbing a handful of times, and what was about to happen was something she could never have predicted.
The Mamamia Out Loud team unpack the case of Luke Lazarus. Post continues after audio…
Mullins and Watts visited Kings Cross McDonalds and pre-drank – something virtually all young people in Sydney do to avoid paying $14 for a vodka lemonade.
They shared a bottle of bourbon, and by the time Mullins left she’d consumed seven standard drinks.
The pair visited World Bar and shared a cocktail teapot; a drink most Sydneysiders will be familiar with.
At 4am, they entered Soho, a club that was somewhat hidden from the rest of Kings Cross. My own recollection of Soho can be summarised in one word; dark.
She met a 21-year-old who told her he co-owned the club, a statement which was not at all true. Luke Lazarus was a promoter, his father the owner.
When he offered to show her the V.I.P. area she dutifully followed, Lazarus holding her hand.
There was no V.I.P. area, but instead a dark alleyway – the kind your mother tells you to stay away from. When Mullins realised she was in an alleyway with a stranger, she says she tried to leave, but Lazarus wouldn’t let her.
When this moment was revisited on Four Corners it was impossible not to think: “That could have been me”.
The pre-drinks. The dark nightclub. The man who claimed to be someone he wasn’t, and offered to show you somewhere most people were not allowed.