Wasn’t all that long ago that a man’s life would be invariably destroyed by one woman’s accusation of rape.
In recent times however the lines seem to have become blurred, smudged beneath a concoction of low-priced wine and even lower-valued self respect.
Scott Kuggleijn was one man who recently avoided the aforementioned lifetime sentence, in likelihood, thanks largely to his national/social standing as a Northern Districts cricketer.
Perhaps also working in Mr Kuggleijn’s favour is the fact that, where ten years ago being implicated in a case of sexual misconduct was unequivocally damning to a man’s reputation and indeed ruinous to his life, these days rape charges – both young and old, of both young and old – are thrown around with such frequency and even sometimes flippancy, that the number of those accusations which (perhaps arguably) turn out to have come from purely attention/fame-hungry or simply gold-digging women – the names Jackson, Cosby, Harris, Penn, Tyson, Depp, Pitt and Travolta spring to mind – are undermining, even belittling to the seriousness of the situations of those women who genuinely have experienced sexually assault.
In this recent case Kuggleijn’s alleged victim – the young woman who allowed a renowned sportsman to accompany her home after meeting him for the first time in a bar that night – claimed that although they had shed most of their clothes and gone to bed together, regarding intercourse she had in fact said ‘no’ multiple times…
I do wonder how many loving relationships exist in New Zealand today, which only blossomed into fruition after a drunken night on the town where a hitherto unknown boy had made himself known to a hitherto unattainable girl whom he then succeeded in accompanying home and furthermore into her bed but where she had then experienced second thoughts prompting her to confusedly utter, “No, no…” while of course he still had his first thoughts which clearly stated, “Yes, yes…” thus the rest is history..?
…Kuggleijn’s alleged victim claimed that she was so drunk at the time she really had no way of controlling the situation anyway meaning technically, she was legally past the point of being able to give consent…
Taking into account reports of ‘kissing, touching, fondling’, ‘groping’, and ‘very flirtatious behaviour’, witnessed by like-minded revellers at the bar on the night in question, seemingly she was ‘controlling the situation’ reasonably well up until that moment therefore the concession of ‘implied consent’ was probably in play.
…Kuggleijn’s alleged victim claimed she struggled and writhed beneath him during the act of sex, and tried to fend him off numerous times…
From my rudimentary understanding of all things carnal, that’s just sex and by the sound of it, not even particularly rough sex.
As mentioned Kuggleijn was successful in defending his case, extricating himself from the unpleasantness while ensuring that his reputation was kept free from any considerable damage; what is considerably damaging though is the affect of ongoing desensitisation the above incident, and others like it, is likely having on future witnesses to claims of rape.
‘The Boy who Cried Wolf’ is at risk of becoming ‘The Girl who Cried Rape’, in that stories of young women – often intoxicated and sometimes with limited recollection of events – coming forward to claim they have been the targets of sexual assault are so very commonplace in the 21st century, and so often later shown to have been false or baseless accusations, that many people’s first instinct nowadays is to simply dismiss the charge as farce.
So what about those women who genuinely have been violated – how is a jury supposed to distinguish ‘a drunken mistake that she can’t believe she made so cries rape if only to save face in the eyes of her friends’, from, ‘the deplorable crime that is sexual assault’?
Similarities are so few there should be no need for distinction.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Ash Howey Drinking
Photography by Dick T Tsar