|Thought we needed a soothing picture|
So a footballer, Ched Evans, was convicted of rape. That means he is a rapist – he did it and the girl he raped is a victim.
This is how justice works in this country. At this stage there isn’t any doubt about it. It has been proven in a court of law.
Why then yesterday, when the verdict was announced, was Twitter awash with vile comment from Sheffield United and Wales fans? They revealed the name of his victim – when victims of sex crimes are guaranteed anonymity – but more than that, they subjected her to a revolting tide of abuse, like it was her fault; her they were angry with.
Police are investigating and I hope very much arrests and convictions will follow.
But I had a look on Twitter today, out of curiosity. There’s still a steady stream of messages under the hashtag #justiceforched. What? There is no injustice, he was not the victim. What idiotic call for justice is this?
This rapist was the best hope of his teams’ success on the football pitch and thousands of fans are bitterly disappointed about that. They are the ones who must grow up and deal with it – attacking, by whatever means, a woman who has been through the worst ordeal isn’t going to help. That would be the action of morons, wouldn’t it?
When I started writing this post I was all set to make a comparison with other heroes who show themselves to be scumbags in one way or another – Dennis Waterman, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Tiger Woods et al. But actually that’s not what it’s about.
Instead, here’s what it’s about:
Rape is a horrible crime, rightly, punishable by imprisonment.
No one was ever asking to be raped – not ever.
If your hero is a rapist, get him down off his pedestal at once…
Then, direct your anger at him, not his victim. There are no excuses.