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Ipswich: Alleged sex assault victim calls for harsher punishments for those who “cry rape”

PUBLISHED: 23:47 11 November 2012

Anita Grinham was allegedly raped in 2008.

Anita Grinham was allegedly raped in 2008.

Archant

AN alleged sex assault victim today called for tougher action against people who “cry rape” in a bid to encourage those who have genuinely been attacked to come forward.

Help is at hand

A police spokeswoman said anyone who believes they have been raped should contact the force.

She said extensive support and help is on hand from specially trained officers.

“Suffolk Constabulary is committed to robustly investigating all reports of rapes and to providing support to victims throughout the investigative process and resulting court proceedings,” she said.

“This kind of crime is extremely distressing for victims and we appreciate how difficult it can be for them to come forward and make a complaint in the first place and ultimately have the courage to give evidence in court about the ordeal they have suffered.

“We make every effort to support victims by providing specialist facilities and highly trained officers in these cases. A dedicated sexual assault referral centre was set up in November 2011, which enhances the quality of service we are able to provide to the victim.

“Anyone who is a victim of rape can be reassured that they can and should come forward and contact us. All complaints are taken seriously and we work with partner agencies to do everything possible to support them and carry out a robust and thorough investigation.”

Call police to report a crime on 101 or in an emergency dial 999.

Anita Grinham spoke out after a Star investigation revealed that 33 people have faced action for wasting police time in relation to false rape allegations in Suffolk since 2009.

That number is a small percentage of the 1,406 rapes investigated during the same period.

Ms Grinham, pictured, who has waived her right to anonymity, was allegedly raped four years ago after her drink was spiked during a night out.

Officers made an arrest but the Crown Prosecution Service said they could not take the matter to court due to the lack of forensic evidence.

The 38-year-old, from the Ipswich area, said it is vital victims are supported and encouraged to report what has happened.

But she said those who make false allegations make the process harder for genuine victims.

“People crying rape takes the emphasis off real victims,” she said.

“It is an insult to people like myself and it is making it harder for genuine cases to be taken seriously.”

Ms Grinham said those who make false claims should face tougher action.

The mum-of-four said it is difficult for those falsely accused of rape to shake off the stigma.

“This is a very serious crime – not only does it affect the body but it scars the mind, too. It is not something that you can get over.

“Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault knows it is a trauma for life. For some it costs them their jobs, others turn to drink, drugs, they lose friends and family along the way.

“So when you have people making these false allegations, it is hard to bear.

“Perhaps if they were to face punishment they might think twice about making such damaging claims.

“Innocent guys accused of rape get stuck with that label. Stigma like that will stick with someone.

“I don’t know what people get in their heads when they make false claims.

“Perhaps they should go and volunteer at a rape crisis charity – they need to realise the consequences of their actions.

“They need to see how this crime affects real victims.

“False claims of rape deter people from coming forward.”

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