Rape Survivor Responds To The Judge Who Victim-Blamed Her In Unexpected Way

Photo: Chris Montgomery
A rape survivor whose attack led a female judge to say drunk women were putting themselves at risk of rape has said the judge’s comments were “right”.
Megan Clark, 19, was drunk when she was raped after a night out in Manchester and the trial sparked outrage after the judge was accused of “victim-blaming” in her sentencing. Lindsey Kushner QC said that while girls were “perfectly entitled to drink themselves into the ground,” they, “should be aware people who are potential defendants to rape, gravitate towards girls who have been drinking."
Clark today said she agreed with some of the judge’s comments. Giving her first interview to the BBC and waiving her right to anonymity, Clark said Judge Kushner was telling women to “be careful” and that her comments were “good advice”.
The teenager said she took the remarks in “a positive way” and that she didn’t consider the judge to be “victim-blaming”. Clark added: "She was right in what she said."
Many charities and campaign groups condemned Judge Kushner's remarks, with the End Violence Against Women Coalition calling the comments “exactly the kind of thing that deters women from reporting assaults”.
Dame Vera Baird, the Northumberland Police and Crime Commissioner and barrister, said: "This looks like victim-blaming". While Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said it was “always disappointing to hear views expressed that lean in favour of the 'victim-blaming' culture that allowed sexual predators to offend with assumed impunity in days gone by."
In her interview with the BBC, Clark also said she originally blamed herself for the attack but has since changed her mind. "I [now] know it wasn't my fault. It's never the victim's fault – they aren't the problem, regardless of what I was doing.”
Her rapist, Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, 19, was found guilty of two counts of rape at Manchester Crown Court last July and was sentenced for six years in prison earlier this month.

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