‘Rape Victims Should Take Taxis’ – Eamonn Holmes

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by Colin McNulty

Hannah Cant was walking home from a night out in Chippenham, when she was dragged into a car and raped by soldier Jonathan Haynes (who was recently jailed for 11 years). Hannah had the presence of mind to spit on the car seat and pull out her own hair, in order to leave her DNA in the car, a move which helped secure Jonathan’s prosecution.

Hannah CantIt must have been a tough decision indeed then for brave Hannah to forego her anonymity and appear on ITV’s This Morning with the husband and wife presenting team of Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, in order to tell her story. Eamonn asked Hannah: “It’s that old thing, I always say. Why were you tempted to walk home?”

Hannah explained that she had walked home with a friend, but she lived 2 streets further away and walked these last 2 streets alone. Eamonn pushed the point at the end of the interview, saying: “I hope you take taxis now. Everywhere you go, coming home at night.”

“This “blame the victim” approach is shocking

I think this “blame the victim” approach is shocking. Women should be entitled to walk where ever they like, whenever, and do so without fear. Women are not poor defenceless little flowers, who need to be kept all nice and safe inside, or inside a taxi if they dare to step outside. Besides taxi’s are hardly without risk, has Eamonn not heard of John Worboys, the London Black Cab driver who was jailed for sexually assaulting 12 women in the back of his cab?

Now of course sadly we don’t live in that utopian world, and there is an argument that everyone (male or female) should be make sensible decisions about the risks they take in the places they go. I would prefer not to walk through Moss Side at midnight for example, that’s just being sensible, but in this case I think most reasonable people would have done what Hannah did.

Hannah, you have a free place at any of my self defence courses

It would have been far better for Eamonn to have asked Hannah what she has done in the last 2 years to deal with the emotional scars of her attack, and what she would do differently if she was in a similar situation again. For my small part, Hannah if you ever read this, you have a free place at any of my self defence courses, any time you like.

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