Victim Megan Clark waived her anonymity to defend Judge Lindsey Kushner comments at rape trial
Megan Clark, 19, was attacked by a man she met in a fast food restaurant after drinking beer and vodka during a night out in Manchester.
Earlier this month, during the trial of the teenager’s attacker, Judge Lindsey Kushner said that women should be aware that potential attackers “gravitate towards girls who have been drinking”.
Today, Ms Clark waived her anonymity to tell the Victoria Derbyshire programme that she took the judge’s comments in a “positive way” and she did not believe she was “victim-blaming.”
Ms Clark told the Victoria Derbyshire she did not believe the judge was ‘victim-blaming’
She said: “I think she was absolutely right in what she said but it was taken out of context. She put the blame massively on rapists not the victims.
I think she was absolutely right in what she said but it was taken out of context. She put the blame massively on rapists not the victims
“She just simply said to be careful, which is smart advice. You need to be careful but she wasn’t at all victim blaming.”
Asked about the judge’s view that women are less likely to report a rape when drunk, Ms Clark said: “That’s definitely true.
"It’s not the way it should be but that is the harsh reality – that’s how things are.”
'I think she was absolutely right in what she said but it was taken out of context' says Megan
Judge Kushner’s comments – at the end of her final trial before retiring – prompted a storm of criticism from campaigners and charities.
She was accused of “victim-blaming” by Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner Dame Vera Baird, who said her comments would deter victims from coming forward.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said that 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.”
Ms Clark told the Radio Five Live programme that she had initially blamed herself but had since changed her view.
She said: “I know it wasn’t my fault. It’s never the victim’s fault – they aren’t the problem, regardless of what I was doing.
"I felt I put myself in that situation. I need to be more careful.”
Judge Kushner’s made the comments at the end of her final trial before retiring
Ms Clark added that had the attack not been videoed by an onlooker she would not have reported it.
She said:”It is a really important subject but people don’t talk about it because they are afraid of judgement.
"But I am happy to talk about it because somebody needs to.”
“It has been really difficult. I had to pretty much put my life on hold for a while. I didn’t deal with it so well for a while.
"I stopped going out so much it really put me back it was really hard to deal with.”
She said she was “disappointed” with the six year sentence for her attacker but said it was “pretty much” what she had expected.
Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, 19, was found guilty of two counts of rape and jailed for six years
Ricardo Rodrigues-Fortes-Gomes, 19, was found guilty of two counts of rape over the July 2016 attack and jailed for six years at Manchester Crown Court earlier this month.
Judge Kushner said that she felt compelled to speak out, telling the sentencing hearing: “I beg girls and women to have this in mind.”
She said: “Girls are perfectly entitled to drink themselves into the ground but should be aware people who are potential defendants to rape gravitate towards girls who have been drinking.
“It shouldn’t be like that but it does happen and we see it time and time again.”