Suffolk: Rape victim’s warning over party season

SUFFOLK: A rape victim today revealed the torment of her ordeal – in the hope of encouraging women to stay safe during the party season.

She told her story as Suffolk police reminded people to drink responsibly and avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Sarah, a young Suffolk woman, was raped two years ago. She said: “I went to a house party and got hammered.

“I went outside to get some air. This lad came outside, grabbed me by my hand and I couldn’t get him off because I was too drunk.

“All I remember is going outside, and then waking up and he was on top of me.”

Sarah has changed her attitude to drinking. “I was a party animal,” she said. “I would just get drunk and have a good time, I didn’t think about anything else or any consequences.

“I wouldn’t drink that much ever again. I’m still trying to forget about it, trying to forget it happened.”

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Her story is not a new one for Samantha Jenkins and Deborah Watson, dedicated rape investigators from Suffolk police’s Gemini team, set up to deal with reports of rape and serious sexual offences.

Dc Watson said: “Women need to drink in moderation and know their limits. They must stick together with friends and not go off with other people.

“Arrange a way home, whether it is by licensed taxi or a designated driver. If you drink too much you make yourself vulnerable.”

Dc Jenkins said men must take responsibility for their actions. “You must be clear that the woman is consenting. If she is drunk she may not be able to reasonably do this.”

DCI David Cutler, lead officer for the investigation of sexual offences, added: “When most people hear the word rape they tend to think of a stranger waiting in bushes and attacking women as they walk home late at night.

“The reality is far from this though, and most of the rapes reported to us involve people who are known to each other.”

n Has alcohol affected your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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