Warning: This article deals with an account of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
In a bizarre – and deeply troubling – development in the prosecution of sexual assault, a UK woman has had her case against her alleged rapist dropped because of the type of underwear she was wearing at the time of the assault.
And, no. They weren’t the sort of underwear you’re picturing. They were a pair of Spanx.
The woman was bringing an action against her partner through the Crown Prosecution Service.
Via the Daily Mail:
Suzanne [not her real name] was shocked to receive a letter from a CPS lawyer in September 2013 which said: ‘I have taken into account all the surrounding circumstances, including the exchange of text messages between you before and after the incident.
‘I have also considered your account of the incident, particularly bearing in mind the type of underwear that you had on at the time,’ the letter added.
‘I was wearing Spanx control pants,’ Suzanne said. ‘They were about this big.’ She measures out a foot with her hands. ‘I don’t know what he was thinking.’
Obviously we do not know the full story, and the CPS could have had a myriad of legitimate reasons for dropping the case. But, just so that we’re all clear: If a woman is walking home late at night by herself, that is not consent. If a woman is drunk, that is not consent. If a woman is not wearing any underpants, that is not consent.
And, if a woman is wearing underpants that happen to be a little bit more difficult than most to take off, and she is unable to stop her attacker from taking them off…
That is not consent.
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call the NSW Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 RESPECT (1800 424 017). It doesn’t matter if you do not live in NSW, or even in Australia, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.