• anonymous woman

The following is an excerpt from Julie Bindel's piece 'When Is A Rape Not A Rape?' in the July 2021 issue of The Critic. Full article here.


Josie* (not her real name) is a university student in England who was raped in early 2018. Last year Josie’s mother Elsie* contacted me to ask for advice and support following the collapse of her daughter’s rape trial. During a night out with some female friends, Josie, a lesbian, started chatting to Marsha* who later joined the group in going on to a lesbian nightclub. Marsha could not find their hotel at the end of the evening and seemed quite drunk and somewhat disorientated.


Marsha “passed very well” for a woman on the night of the rape, according to Josie. Conveniently, however, Marsha did not “pass” during their attendance at court, but was dressed and presented in a far more traditional male way. With the benefit of hindsight, this makes complete sense given the defence strategy used during the trial.


The defence used in court, which led to an acquittal, was that Josie was well aware that Marsha was a trans woman, and that Josie reported Marsha for rape as a result of being “transphobic”. The defence claimed that if the jury couldn’t be persuaded that the defendant in court passed convincingly as a woman, then Josie must have consented, and therefore a rape cannot have taken place.


“Marsha gave no indication that she was trans and kept referring to a couple of YouTube bloggers who are lesbians,” Josie said. “You don’t get to use your femininity to gain the trust of a female and then use your masculinity to destroy them,” she added. “I felt and still do feel an extra sense of violation, at being accused of being transphobic in court after being brave enough to speak my truth as a victim of rape.”


Elsie told me she and her daughter often wonder if the rapist might have been found guilty if the case had been presented as rape by deception. “Stacked alongside the many myths about rape, my daughter didn’t stand a chance in court without that vital element of deception having been at the forefront of the prosecution’s case. Without deception, the case was as strong as a chocolate teapot.”


#unitedkingdom #england #rape #crime #sexbydeception #trans #lesbian