Judge Accused Of "Victim-Blaming" Drunk Women Who Are Raped

Homer Sykes
A retiring British judge has been criticised for making "victim-blaming" comments about drunk women who are raped during her final case before stepping down from the bench.
While sentencing a male rapist to six years in prison at Manchester crown court on Friday, Lindsey Kushner QC said "there is absolutely no excuse and a woman can do with her body what she wants and a man will have to adjust his behaviour accordingly."
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However, she added later in her sentencing: "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,"
Kushner, who had served as a circuit judge since 2002, also claimed that "if push comes to shove, a girl who has been drunk is less likely to be believed than one who is sober at the time."
Campaigning coalition End Violence Against Women have called Kushner's comments "alarming," telling the BBC: "When judges basically blame victims for rape by suggesting how much alcohol a woman drinks or what she wears is part of what causes rape, we remove the responsibility from the man who did it."
Dame Vera Baird, the Northumberland Police and Crime Commissioner, and a barrister herself, has also criticised Judge Kushner's comments, arguing: "This looks like victim-blaming."
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "When somebody is raped they feel guilt and shame and they find it very hard to report it. If a judge has just said to them 'Well, if you drank you are more likely to get raped, we are not likely to believe you and you have been disinhibited so you've rather brought it on yourself', then that guilt is just going to get worse."
Rape Crisis England and Wales offers a variety of counselling and advice services to women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any point in their lives. Find out more on the website.
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